OVERRIDE

Bait and Switch

The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

Barbara Ehrenreich; Read by Anne Twomey

Macmillan Audio

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

BACK

MEDIA

Watch

  • Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Barbara Ehrenreich's book Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. 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, and enters the world of the white-collar unemployed.

BACK

REVIEWS

Praise for Bait and Switch

Praise for Nickel and Dimed
“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

“Jarring, full of riveting grit...This book is already unforgettable.” –Newsweek

“Courageous...a superb and frightening look into the lives of hard-working Americans.” –San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Barbara Ehrenreich; Read by Anne Twomey

  • Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of thirteen books including The New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed. A frequent contributor to Harper's and The Nation, she has been a regular columnist at The New York Times and Time magazine. She lives in Virginia.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich Sigrid Estrada
    Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Anne Twomey
BACK

READING GUIDE

ORGANIZING A READING GROUP

GET THE GUIDE

Download PDF

TELL YOUR FRIENDS

FIND MORE BOOKS

Go to website

STAY UPDATED

Sign Up

OTHER GUIDES

Reading Group Guide
BACK

BUY THE BOOK

Available Formats and Book Details

Bait and Switch

The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

Barbara Ehrenreich; Read by Anne Twomey

Quill Award - Nominee
BACK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Macmillan Audio

BACK