Nickel and Dimed - Summary and Key Ideas

The book Nickel and Dimed (2001) is about a journalist who goes undercover and takes on minimum-wage jobs in America to see if she can survive. Barbara Ehrenreich's experiment reveals the harsh reality of poverty and the struggles of those living in the working class.

This book is a perfect read for individuals who are interested in the working poor and their living conditions. It is also suitable for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by low-wage workers in America.

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Nickel and Dimed

Key ideas


Introduction to the Life of the Working Poor


Minimum Wage and its Insufficiency for Living

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Finding and Maintaining Affordable Housing

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The Physical and Emotional Toll of Low-Wage Work

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The Reality of Workplace Culture

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The Challenges of Obtaining Healthcare

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The Struggle to Afford Nutritious Food

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The Impact of Race and Gender on Low-Wage Workers

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The Difficulty of Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

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Summary & Review

Nickel and Dimed is a powerful book that exposes the harsh reality of life for low-wage workers in America. Through her own experiences, author Barbara Ehrenreich takes us on a journey of poverty, struggling to make ends meet every day. But the book is not just a critique of the system, it also provides us with insights on how we can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich is a political activist, journalist, and social critic widely known for her advocacy of workers' rights, feminism, and progressive politics. She has written extensively about poverty, social inequality, and the challenges faced by working-class Americans. Ehrenreich has also been a vocal critic of the corporate world and capitalism, arguing that both contribute to the growing wealth gap and social injustices in the country. Through her work, she has inspired many to take action and fight for a more just and equitable society.

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