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Extended Audio Sample Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Audiobook, by Barbara Ehrenreich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (123,682 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Ehrenreich Narrator: Cristine McMurdo-Wallis Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2001 ISBN: 9781436127189
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If the economy's in such good shape, how come so many people struggle just to get by? This writer joined the vast army of minimum-wage earners and found that even with two jobs (or three), life in the low-rent district is a nightmare of anxiety and exhaus Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Barbara Ehrenreich is smart, provocative, funny, and sane in a world that needs more of all four.”

    Diane Sawyer

  • “Reading Ehrenreich is good for the soul.”

    Molly Ivins

  • “Captivating…promise that you will read this explosive little book cover to cover and pass it on to all your friends and relatives.”

    New York Times

  • “Impassioned, fascinating, profoundly significant, and wildly entertaining…Nickel and Dimed is not only important but transformative in its insistence that we take a long hard look at the society we live in.” 

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Valuable and illuminating…Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.”

    New York Times Book Reveiw

  • “Ehrenreich is passionate, public, hotly lucid, and politically engaged.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Ehrenreich’s scorn withers, her humor stings, and her radical light shines on.”

    Boston Globe

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of a 2002 YALSA Alex Award
  • Winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest
  • One of the 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • An Indie Next Recommendation

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Ross | 2/17/2014

    " I listened to the audio book and I found it very interesting. I will say that I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who work minimum wage jobs. I have been working since I was 12 as a paper boy and worked at minimum wage jobs from age 16 until age 24 and my first real job was as a cook in a chicken restaurant and that was enough to make me want to go to college if I did not already have my own drive to do so. I believe that raising the minimum wage is not the answer and that getting an education is a better solution to raising the minimum wage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah Scully | 2/15/2014

    " Showed you a different side of the working class of America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 2/15/2014

    " I thought this book offered great insight into the lives of the working poor. I think some people expected that the author would immerse herself completely into the experience, but I don't think her intention was to prove it's tough to live on minimum wage. I think her purpose was to learn how people on minimum wage make ends meet and also why it's so tough to break out of poverty. I think she achieved both those goals. The worst part is that this book was written in the late 90s, during one of the greatest economic times in America. I find it heartbreaking to imagine how people survive on minimum wage today, in 2012. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie P | 2/8/2014

    " Fairly interesting and insightful, but no major revelations. I did work as a hostess and retail associate - never for a living, but I worked with others who did. Wondering if a more recent, similar work would provide a better perspective, as this book is now about 12 years old and the climate may have changed a little. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Robison | 1/14/2014

    " I was initially interested in this book because it was about a subject I have often wondered about myself - how individuals who earn the lowest wage make it in America. Sure, there is some government and charitable help to be had, but is it enough? The easy answer - no. Even as a you female lucky enough to be middle class and making a decent wage, I find it hard to believe I pay what I pay for rent, lent alone what Barbara was paying (either the same or more) on a quarter of what I make! This book highlighted the importance of affordable housing and how the lack of it contributes to so many other problems. It has renewed my interest in getting involved in my community and I look forward to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, which provides affordable housing (and homeownership at that) to those who need it most. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justina | 1/13/2014

    " Takes a narrow and at times dramatic view of living off minimum wage to push the living wage agenda, without thought of labor market shocks of doing this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy E. | 1/3/2014

    " Whew! It was a fast read, but I think it will hang with me for a long time. I learned quite a few things. Even though it is older, it would be a great book to hand high school kids. Sadly, I cannot believe that much has truly changed for the "working poor" in the last 10 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie Michelle | 12/22/2013

    " pretty sad commentary on our world, great book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/16/2013

    " You will never look at house cleaners or big box employees the same again. This should be required reading for high school students and republicans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 10/29/2013

    " Really interesting - still good even though the research was conducted well over a decade ago. I use this with my AP Language class in a unit about social issues facing America today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 10/4/2013

    " Not a masterpiece and borders on whiny on some occasions, but it opened my eyes quite a bit to what the average minimum wage worker goes through every day. Those crappy jobs I held in high school might be over for me, but for some people they are an every day reality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 10/3/2013

    " Although one could easily win arguments about the methods of research used by the author, this book provided an eye opening perspective to the plight of the working poor in the United States. A quick read that stayed with me for a long time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Audrey | 8/21/2013

    " Illustrated review of Nickel and Dimed: bibliovermis.com "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaun | 5/28/2013

    " This book really helps you understand what it's like for people trying to get by in America on a low income. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 3/19/2013

    " Excellent book for Mitt Romney to take the time and read..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsay | 7/27/2012

    " Fast read - 3 days I think. Enjoyed it. Authors do crazy things to get a good book :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 8/25/2011

    " Expose of the treatment of low paid workers. Shocking. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jesse | 7/15/2011

    " I was challenged by the author's non-negotiables in this book. There is a certain privilege in knowing that you can retreat to a better life if the going gets too tough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frances | 6/30/2011

    " This didn't quite live up to the hype. Though it was readable and she had good things to say, I found myself thinking that she didn't always make the most realistic choices. The evaluation at the end is worth reading even on its own, and the introduction was also very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 6/29/2011

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 6/25/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thu N | 6/21/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sumayyah | 6/20/2011

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mridula | 6/18/2011

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 6/16/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddie | 6/15/2011

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Roberta | 6/11/2011

    " For another viewpoint, I recommend Scratch Beginnings! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 6/10/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 6/5/2011

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

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About the Author
Author Barbara Ehrenreich
BARBARA EHRENREICH is the author of fourteen books, including the bestselling Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. She lives in Virginia.
About the Narrator

Cristine McMurdo-Wallis has appeared on stages from Connecticut to Alaska. She appeared in the Seattle Shakespeare Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also worked with the Alaska Repertory Theater, the Seattle Repertory Theater, and the Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, New York. Cristine’s film credits include The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and American Heart, with Jeff Bridges. She lives in New York City.