Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream Audiobook, by Barbara Ehrenreich Play Audiobook Sample

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream Audiobook

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream Audiobook, by Barbara Ehrenreich Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Anne Twomey Publisher: Macmillan Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: September 2005 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781593977313

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

80

Longest Chapter Length:

07:47 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

02:53 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

05:07 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

11

Other Audiobooks Written by Barbara Ehrenreich: > View All...

Publisher Description

The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor. Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage workers. Now, in BAIT AND SWITCH, she enters another hidden realm of the economy—the world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a plausible resume of a professional "in transition," attempts to land a "middle class job" undergoing career coaching and personality testing, then begins trawling a series of EST-like "boot camps," job fairs, "networking events," and evangelical job-search "ministries." She gets an "image makeover" to prepare her for the corporate world and works hard to project the "winning attitude" recommended for a successful job search. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured and, again and again, rejected. BAIT AND SWITCH highlights the people who've done everything right—gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes—yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today's ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their "surplus" employees—plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job-searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for the new disposable workers—and little security even for those who have jobs. Like the now classic Nickel and Dimed, BAIT AND SWITCH is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing expose of economic cruelty where we least expect it.

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"This depicts a pretty bleak outlook on white collar employment. Frequent layoffs, downsizing, job turnover, etc. coupled w/ less benefits, pensions, etc. And this was in 2004-2005, let alone now! In particular, it was interesting to read about the booming business of "helping" people find jobs (career coaches, image coaches, transition "teams", etc.) and the trend to hire people as independent contractors in order to not have to pay salaries & give benefits, thereby reducing companies' costs."

— Fitsum (4 out of 5 stars)

Quotes

  • “We have Barbara Ehrenreich to thank for bringing us the news of America's working poor so clearly and directly, and conveying with it a deep moral outrage...She is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.

    — Dorothy Gallagher, The New York Times Book Review on Nickel and Dimed
  • Jarring, full of riveting grit...This book is already unforgettable.

    — Newsweek on Nickel and Dimed
  • Courageous...a superb and frightening look into the lives of hard-working Americans.

    — San Francisco Chronicle on Nickel and Dimed

Awards

  • Nominated for Quill Award - Nominee, 2006

Bait and Switch Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 3.36666666666667 out of 53.36666666666667 out of 53.36666666666667 out of 53.36666666666667 out of 53.36666666666667 out of 5 (3.37)
5 Stars: 7
4 Stars: 7
3 Stars: 8
2 Stars: 6
1 Stars: 2
Narration: 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 (0.00)
5 Stars: 0
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Story: 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 (0.00)
5 Stars: 0
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " The "undercover" approach of Nickel and Dimed does not work at all here. I wish she'd re-structured the book to de-emphasize her fake job search and devote more time to actual corporate job seeker's experiences. Not worthwhile. "

    — Kate, 2/15/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book will make you angry -- and it should. It is a travesty what American society does to its workers. "

    — Sympawtico, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Ehrenreich missed the mark with this book. She went out to try to nab a job in mid management with a fake resume and just never made it. She enlisted career advisors, and went to job fairs and spent tons of money with no results. The basic issue here is that she didn't have the 20 or so years of experience, of friends in the business and contacts in her trade to give her a boost. She spent a good part of the book being cynical about the many people and places she enlisted to help her in her search. I really don't think most people do this. In the end I think she would have done better shadowing 3 or 4 people who have lost their jobs and truly analyzing their situations completely, instead of trying to masquerade as something she wasn't. I got the feeling that she had a contract with the editor and couldn't change it once she had started off on the wrong path, so she just made the best of it, which did not make for good reading. "

    — Noel, 1/28/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Hard to believe this was published during the boom years because it reads like a textbook of what happened to professionals during the subsequent Great Recession. Buy this one and you'll save $$$ when you're laid off. "

    — Anne, 1/27/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This was an engaging read though the book was not exactly about what I had thought considering the write-up and the intro. The entire book chronicled her attempts to get a job in the corporate world in order to write the book I was suspecting. Her journey was definitely entertaining, and sometimes illuminating, but I couldn't help to shake my head often at how naive and clueless she was about jobs in the corporate world as well as about the people working these jobs. Nonetheless, worth reading. Another one I couldn't put down. "

    — Matilda, 1/27/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Barbara Ehrenreich delves into America's dirty little secret on the meritocracy myth and the inconvenient truth behind a burgeoning poor class of middle-aged, educated workers who did "all the right things" but who still got the shaft in our Serengeti job market resulting from globalization and downsize-mania. "

    — Jacqueline, 1/24/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Not nearly as good as Nickel and Dimed. But I really enjoy her writing. She's smart and has a sharp wit. The last chapter gets a little too preachy and goes on for far too long even though I agree with her conclusion. "

    — D'Anne, 1/15/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " While truthful and honest it seemed like a weak followup to Nickel and Dimed.I think there were additional avenues Ehrenreich could have investigated and added that would have made this a better read and have more insight on the bigger picture. "

    — Katrina, 1/14/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I've just re-read this account of finding a job in white collar America. A depressing, yet interesting, portrait of mid-level executives and the hoops one must jump through to get there. "

    — Erika, 1/12/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It feels entirely incomplete, unlike Nickled and Dimed. She's a fantastic author, really, but she doesn't honestly pursue white-collar work because she doesn't know what she's getting into. I'd like to see her try again, and this time do it properly. "

    — Laurie, 12/18/2013
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Really disapointing "

    — Courtney, 11/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " read this book if you wanna depress yourself about how our economy sucks, and how those who went to college can't even get jobs in an american corporation. but then again, who wants to work for them?? "

    — Shannon, 11/17/2013
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " started reading it hoping that barb would pull something off, but no, it wasn't to my liking and could not bear to finish. "

    — cindy, 11/2/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is one of the best books I've read period. People do not understand how hard a job search can be until they have been through it or read this book. "

    — Julie, 8/11/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Great followup to Nickle and Dimed. Was disappointed when she did not achieve a job but felt it justified her purpose of doing said book "

    — Bryan, 4/29/2013
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " I love Barbara Ehrenreich but I was underwhelmed by this book. "

    — Sara, 3/7/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " [audiobook via audible.com] . . . interesting . . . and a little depressing . . . "

    — Dave, 1/28/2013
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Although I loved Nickle and Dimed, I couldn't get myself to finish this book. Yes, it's scary, but she seemed to make some rather silly networking decisions and got very repetitive. "

    — Meg, 9/19/2012
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Ehrenreich writes what she experiences. She not only writes the book, she recreates the situation and tries through this situation that she has created to achieve the goal. I enjoy all of her books. "

    — Jessica, 9/27/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Good, but depressing. Although I suppose its good to know what awaits us should we find ourselves laid-off/unemployed once we hit our 30's and 40's... "

    — Nilagia, 8/5/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A must read for anyone involved in a wage-earning job or who wants to learn how the "other half" lives. Anyone who thinks that the minimum wage is a drain on business needs to read this book to see how crappy the world would be if wages were kept low. "

    — Tom, 6/29/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book provides nothing new unless you have never made less than $50,000/yr. "

    — Ellen, 6/25/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Very eye opening and I have great respect for the author for taking on this amazing task. "

    — Thu, 6/21/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " 3.5 stars, but it raised some interesting points. "

    — Sumayyah, 6/20/2011
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " If you are interested in knowing how low-income daily-wage people live in the US, this is a good book. It is depressing in parts but it is also the reality. "

    — Mridula, 6/18/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I think everyone should read this book to realize what some people (mostly women) have to go through on a day to day basis. "

    — Kim, 6/16/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Great idea and interesting book but I fild Barbara Enhrenreich's narration so annoying. "

    — Eddie, 6/15/2011
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " For another viewpoint, I recommend Scratch Beginnings! "

    — Katie, 6/11/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Sad but true that we live in a society where people are not paid decent wages for the work they do. "

    — doug, 6/10/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book makes you wonder how people survive (financially)at all. "

    — Penny, 6/5/2011

About Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich (1941-2022) authored over a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, Living with a Wild God, and The Worst Years of Our Lives. An award-winning journalist, she frequently contributed to Harper’s, The Nation, the New York Times, and Time magazine. She was born in Butte, Montana, studied physics at Reed College, and earned a PhD in cell biology from Rockefeller University. Rather than going into laboratory work, she got involved in activism and soon devoted herself to writing her innovative journalism.

About Anne Twomey

Anne Twomey is an accomplished actress of both stage and screen. Her Broadway credits include Orpheus Descending with Vanessa Redgrave, To Grandmother’s House We Go, and Nuts, for which she received a Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award. Her many television appearances include guest roles on Seinfeld, Law & Order: SVU, Spin City, and the Christopher Reeves’ movie-of-the-week Rear Window. She has also appeared in the films Picture Perfect and Orpheus Descending. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.