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Download Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (847 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adam Shepard Narrator: Peter Berkrot Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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What can you get with twenty-five dollars and a dream?

Adam Shepard graduated from college feeling disillusioned by the apathy around him and was then incensed after reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s famous work Nickel and Dimed—a book that gave him a feeling of hopelessness about the working class in America. He set out to disprove Ehrenreich’s theory—the notion that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom—by making something out of nothing to achieve the American Dream.

Shepard’s plan was simple. With a sleeping bag, the clothes on his back, and $25 in cash, and restricted from using his contacts or college education, he headed out for Charleston, South Carolina, a randomly selected city, with one objective: to work his way out of homelessness and into a life that would give him the opportunity for success. His goal was to have, after one year, $2,500, a working automobile, and a furnished apartment.

Scratch Beginnings is the earnest and passionate account of Shepard’s struggle to overcome the pressures placed on the homeless. His story will not only inspire listeners but will also remind them that success can come to anyone who is willing to work hard—and that America is still one of the most hopeful countries in the world.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Betty Renard | 2/20/2014

    " I liked this answer to "nickel and dimed", which I found very flawed. This young man also another effort should be made to prove the American Dream is alive and well, and made a much more sincere effort in my opinion. Good reminder to set goals and work toward reaching them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dean Anderson | 2/20/2014

    " Nice response to Nickel and Dimed. Not strongly written, but a good story still. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wendy Fairfull | 2/7/2014

    " This was an interesting book, especially since it took place in Charleston (where we live). I thought it was a little unrealistic though if you weren't a young, healthy, single man with no children. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Sharon | 1/12/2014

    " Gave up when I realized that the author already had his mind made up before going in and wasn't going grasp the difference between himself and those around him, and certainly not those in other cities lacking in services. "

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About the Author

Adam Shepard is a 2006 graduate of Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, where he majored in business management and Spanish. He has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and other outlets. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.