Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the USA.Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Biggest little used bookstore in the world. Second City Books - the first place to look for second hand books.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Nickel and Dimed: on (Not) Getting by in America Hardcover – 31 May 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover, 31 May 2001
£0.01
Audio CD
"Please retry"
£1.44
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc; First Edition edition (31 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805063889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805063882
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,300,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Essayist and cultural critic, now author of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich has always specialised in turning received wisdom on its head with intelligence, clarity and verve.

With some 12 million women being pushed into the labour market by welfare reform, she decided to do some good old-fashioned journalism and find out just how they were going to survive on the wages of the unskilled--at six to seven USD an hour, only half of what is considered a living wage. So she did what millions of Americans do; she looked for a job and a place to live, worked that job and tried to make ends meet.

As a waitress in Florida, where her name is suddenly transposed to "girl", trailer trash becomes a demographic category to aspire to with rent at USD 675 per month. In Maine, where she ends up working as both a cleaner and a nursing home assistant, she must first fill out endless pre-employment tests with trick questions such as, "Some people work better when they’re a little bit high." In Minnesota she works at Wal-Mart under the repressive surveillance of men and women whose job it is to monitor her behaviour for signs of sloth, theft, drug abuse, or worse. She even gets to experience the humiliation of the urine test.

So, do the poor have survival strategies unknown to the middle class? And did Ehrenreich feel the "bracing psychological effects of getting out of the house, as promised by the people who brought us welfare reform?" No, even in her best-case scenario, with all the advantages of education, health, a car, and money for first month’s rent, she has to work two jobs, seven days a week and still almost ends up in a shelter.

As Ehrenreich points out with her potent combination of humour and outrage, the laws of supply and demand have been reversed. Rental prices skyrocket, but wages never rise. Rather, jobs are cheap in comparison to the pay that workers are encouraged to take as many as they can. Behind those trademark Wal-Mart vests, it turns out, are the borderline homeless.

With her characteristic wry wit and her unabashedly liberal bent, Ehrenreich brings the invisible poor out of hiding and, in the process, the world they inhabit where civil liberties are often ignored and hard work fails to live up to its reputation as the ticket out of poverty. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Captivating . . . promise that you will read this explosive little book cover to cover and pass it on to all your friends and relatives." --"The New York Times
"
"Impassioned, fascinating, profoundly significant, and wildly entertaining . . . Nickel and Dimed is not only important but transformative in its insistence that we take a long hard look at the society we live in." "--"Francise Prose, "O, The Oprah Magazine
"
"Valuable and illuminating . . . Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism." --"The New York Times Book Review
"
"Jarring . . . fully of riveting grit . . . this book is already unforgettable."" --The New York Times"
"Reading Ehrenreich is good for the soul." --Molly Ivins
"Ehrenreich is passionate, public, hotly lucid, and politically engaged." --"Chicago Tribune"
"Ehrenreich's scorn withers, her humor stings, and her radical light shines on." --"The Boston Globe"
"One of today's most original writers." --"The New York Times
"
"Barbara Ehrenreich is smart, provocative, funny, and sane in a world that needs more of all four." --Diane Sawyer


Captivating . . . promise that you will read this explosive little book cover to cover and pass it on to all your friends and relatives. "The New York Times"

Impassioned, fascinating, profoundly significant, and wildly entertaining . . . "Nickel and Dimed" is not only important but transformative in its insistence that we take a long hard look at the society we live in. "Francise Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine"

Valuable and illuminating . . . Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism. "The New York Times Book Review"

Jarring . . . fully of riveting grit . . . this book is already unforgettable. "The New York Times"

Reading Ehrenreich is good for the soul. "Molly Ivins"

Ehrenreich is passionate, public, hotly lucid, and politically engaged. "Chicago Tribune"

Ehrenreich's scorn withers, her humor stings, and her radical light shines on. "The Boston Globe"

One of today's most original writers. "The New York Times"

Barbara Ehrenreich is smart, provocative, funny, and sane in a world that needs more of all four. "Diane Sawyer"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Nickel and Dimed is a description of the author's temporary life at or below the poverty line in different jobs in 3 US cities. The book is actually quite short but packs in a fair amount of description, background facts and personality.
I have read some harsh criticisms of the book. However, the author was aware of many of these problems and she does not hide her faults. She is only 'visiting' the world of the poor, she does write more about herself than those she meets and she does make some decisions that, in some cases, make her ordeal needlessly worse whilst others make it easier.
Accept her failings as she does, and read a book that says a lot about US society and has many points that are transferable to the UK.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you have read, and liked, George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London then this is a book for you. The author writes engagingly and informatively on what it is like to part of America's "working poor" and, in the process, punctures a number of middle-class prescriptions for, and misconceptions about, the poor. Why do the poor eat junk food? Because they don't have the facilities - kitchen, pots, cooker - to make lentil soup. Why do the poor live in hotel rooms paying $60 per night? Because they don't have the money for the deposit on the rent of an apartment. Housing always emerges as the single biggest obstacle in the lives of low-paid employees. Did you know that many low-paid employees ($6-$7 per hour) live in their cars and vans? That a perk of a waitress' job with a hotel was permission to park her van-cum-home in the hotel car park? This book is in the best tradition of writing with a social conscience -it does not beatify the poor, nor does it regard them as unter-menschen. Indeed, the messsage that I, surrounded by my bourgeois comforts, took away was: "There but for the grace of God.." If you are not averse to this genre, then you should read this book - it is among the best of this type of writing.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover as an entry-level worker to determine whether or not she can make it on the wages paid to the majority of American employees. She freely admits that she is only dipping a toe into the experience - she will not be homeless, she will have a vehicle, and of course she knows that at the end of the month she will be able to go back to her regular life. The goal is to see if she can earn enough from her various jobs (a waitress, a maid and a clerk in a department store, respectively) to feed herself, house herself and save enough money for the next month's rent. She is healthy and single with no dependent children, and has no chemical dependency issues weighing her down, and even with these advantages, and in a job market that was plentiful compared to the current one, she finds that she is unable to manage it.

I am unable to call this book eye-opening, because I know just how difficult it is to make ends meet, and I was working in what is rather condescendingly referred to as the "pink collar" sector. Even with my "middle-class" earnings, I was never more than a paycheck or two away from being in real financial trouble, and I did NOT live lavishly by any stretch of the imagination. It is no surprise to me at all that $6-8.00 per hour is not enough to keep body and soul together. Especially in America, where necessities of life (health care, food, housing) are, for some people, luxuries, this is a frustrating situation.

What Ehrenreich does is open her own eyes to the drudgery and difficulty of daily life in this grind. She has no pat answers for solving the deeply-entrenched problems that the working poor face; she is only able to shed a light on them.
Read more ›
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It’s a strangely unsatisfactory read. I found Ehrenreich rather got in the way of the real story. On two counts. One, because she’s turned this cod-journalistic piece into a self-indulgent account of her own private challenge to live a half-baked breadline existence, rather than actually focus on the people genuinely experiencing the poverty trap. Finishing her Florida segment, for instance, with the glib acknowledgement, “I never found out what happened to George.”

Secondly, surprisingly, her actual prose. She’ll throw in jarringly inappropriate words just for the sheer fun (cleverness?) of it: “I pretend to study my check for a clue, but entropy has been up to its tricks, not only on the plate but in my head…” Entropy is a complicated concept - it’s meaning: 1.(communication theory) a numerical measure of the uncertainty of an outcome; 2.(thermodynamics) a thermodynamic quantity representing the amount of energy in a system that is no longer available for doing mechanical work. It’s clearly not the right word for that sentence. Food on a plate cannot suffer from entropy. It’s a lazy stab at sounding articulate.

Another example: “I was struck by what appeared to be an extreme case of demographic albinism”. She means there were a high proportion of white people in the area - not sufferers of the pigmentation disorder, albinism. They’re not the same thing.

And: “Then Holly starts up on one of those pornographic late-afternoon food conversations…” Pornographic? We’re not talking food-related sexual fetishes - we’re talking common culinary fantasies. Why ‘pornographic’?
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback