Booklist: Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed book cover.When I first found Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed while waiting for someone or something, I picked it up and started reading in the middle. I found myself immediately taken in to her story and her writing, and was more than a little remise to give it up. Not many non-fiction books about social issues are call page-turners. But this is one.

Ehrenreich attempts three low-wage jobs in three cities for a month each, trying to find housing and food within the budget allowed by such work. She fails. The book is full of details and well researched commentary that might make the deepest conservative question welfare to work ‘reforms’ and the real nature of poverty.