Reports from a Divided Nation. America in the ’aughts—hilariously skewered, brilliantly dissected, and darkly diagnosed by one of the country’s most prominent social critics.
Barbara Ehrenreich’s widely acclaimed This Land Is Their Land takes the measure of what we are left with after the cruelest decade in memory and finds lurid extremes all around. While members of the moneyed elite have bought up congressmen, many in the working class can barely buy lunch. While a wealthy minority obsessively consumes cosmetic surgery, the poor often go without health care for their children. And while the Masters of the Universe have thrown themselves into the casino economy, the less fortunate have been fed a diet of morality, marriage, and abstinence. With perfect satiric pitch, Ehrenreich reveals a country scarred by deepening inequality, corroded by distrust, and shamed by its official cruelty.
Full of wit and generosity, these reports from a divided nation—including new and unpublished essays—confirm once again that Ehrenreich is, as the San Francisco Chronicle proclaims, “essential reading.”
“Feisty, fearlessly progressive Ehrenreich offers laughter on the way to tears in 62 previously published essays that show “the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.” She investigates pockets of poverty among undocumented workers, military families and recent college graduates. Ehrenreich’s reach is capacious, encompassing not only unemployment, health insurance and inflation, but corporate spying, cancer studies, marriage education, the “abstinence training business” and “Disney’s Princess products.” Her passion, compassion and wit keep these excursions lively and timely…”
“Provocative, angry and funny, often at the same time…”
“In Swiftian style, Ehrenreich suggests that families unable to obtain health-care coverage for their children should buy pet health insurance for them, and she blithely maintains that employers have cut wages and benefits to such levels that it is safe to assume employees will soon be asked to pay their boss for the privilege of working.”
—Jill Ortner, Library Journal