On (Not) Getting By in America
The Tenth Anniversary Edition Featuring a New Afterword by the Author
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
“A valuable and illuminating book . . . [Ehrenreich] is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.”—The New York Times Book Review
Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired, in part, by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour?
Ehrenreich reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion. Nickel and Dimed has become an essential part of the nation’s political discourse. “This book is thoroughly enjoyable, written with an affable. up-your-nose brio throughout. Ehrenreich is a superb and relaxed stylist, and she has a tremendous sense of rueful humor, especially when it comes to the evils of middle-management, absentee ownership, and all the little self-consecrating bourgeois touches gracing the homes she sterilizes, inch-by-square-inch, as a maid in Maine.”—Stephen Metcalf, Los Angeles Times
Barbara Ehrenreich is the bestselling author of twenty books, including Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, Bright-sided, This Land Is Their Land, Dancing in the Streets and Blood Rites. A frequent contributor to Harper’s and The Nation, she has also been a columnist at The New York Times and Time magazine.
Nickel and Dimed has been adopted for more than one hundred First-Year Experience programs:
Adelphi University (NY); Appalachian State University (NC); Ashland University (OH); Ball State University (IN); Baruch College (NY); Boston University; Bridgewater State University (MA); Bryant University (RI); California State University, Bakersfield; California State University, Northridge; Central Methodist College (MO); Chardon High School (OH); Clark University (MA); Coe College (MA); Colgate University (NY); College of New Jersey; Colorado College; Duquesne University (PA); Eastern Kentucky University; Eastern Michigan University; Elon University (NC); Fairfield University (CT); Florida Atlantic University; Francis Marion University (SC); Hamline University (MN); Illinois College; Illinois Wesleyan University; Indiana State University; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Indiana University, South Bend; Ivy Tech Community College (IN); Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington (IN); Lehigh University (PA); LeMoyne College (NY); Lincoln University (MO); Lone Star College-CyFair (TX); Loyola Marymount University (CA); Loyola University (LA); Madonna University (MI); Madonna University (MI); Mansfield University (PA); Miami University at Ohio; Montana State University, Bozeman; Montgomery College (MD); Mount Holyoke College (MA); Mount Union College (OH); Mountain View College; Mt. Saint Mary College (NY); Murray State University (KY); Nazareth College (NY); New Mexico State University; Niagara University (NY); North Idaho College; Northern Arizona University; Northern Kentucky University; Oakland University (MI); Ohio Northern University; Ohio State University; Ohio University; Ohio Wesleyan University; Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton; Pennsylvania State University, New Kensington; Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill; Rockhurst University (MO); Rollins College (FL); Rutgers University (NJ); Saint Francis University (PA); San Diego State University; San Jose State University; Seton Hall University (NJ); Seton Hill University (PA); Siena College (NY); Slippery Rock University (PA); Smith College (MA); Southern Methodist University (TX); Southern Oregon University; Springfield College (MA); State Fair Community College (MO); SUNY, Brockport; SUNY, Buffalo; SUNY, Geneseo; SUNY, LaGuardia Community College; Texas Lutheran University; The Taft School (CT); University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Massachusetts, Lowell; University of Missouri, Columbia; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Saint Joseph (CT); University of South Carolina, Upstate; University of Southern Mississippi; University of Tampa; University of Toledo; University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire; University of Wisconsin, Marathon County; University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; Virginia Commonwealth University; Washburn University (KS); Western New England College (MA); Whittier College (CA); Williams College (MA); Windward Community College (HI); Wright State University (OH) York College of Pennsylvania
Beyond the Book
In 2002, playwright Joan Holden adapted Nickel and Dimed for the stage. Since its premiere at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre, the drama has been produced from San Francisco, to Denver, to Chicago, to New York City. Students at colleges and universities across the country have put on the play, as well. The acting edition is available for through Dramatists Play Services, Inc.