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

Extended Audio Sample Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (Unabridged), by Barbara Ehrenreich
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,876 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Ehrenreich Narrator: Anne Twomey Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The best-selling 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, Ehrenreich 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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kate | 2/15/2014

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fitsum | 2/10/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sympawtico | 2/9/2014

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Noel | 1/28/2014

    " 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. "

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