Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream [Barbara Ehrenreich] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The New York Times. Bait and Switch has ratings and reviews. Trevor said: Part of ” Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.” — Dorothy. 5 quotes from Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream: ‘This advice comes as a surprise: job searching is not joblessness; it is a jo.

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By using this site, you agree swtch the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Not so certain why people reaect negatively to this book. The life barbada were particularly frightening. Refresh and try again. The book acknowledges that many job fairs, which are aimed primarily at blue collar employment, are usually provided at no cost. The state of the unemployed from all walks of life is lamentable, and I hope never to find myself back in the grind of job-hunting or working in the corporate world, either as a member of middle management or a blue-collar worker.

Although this book was published inI didn’t read it until Aug 12, Kelly rated it really liked it Shelves: However, with a falsified resume designed to hide her identity, she spends the entire book in the job search process. Conditions described in this book can only have gotten worse since then. If she’d taken this approach from the beginning, with both employed and unemployed white collared professionals, she could have written a ehrenreicch picture of failures of the American dream for the middle class, rather than her ersatz foray into a strange foreign land.

Bait and Switch (book) – Wikipedia

In this case, she decided to pseudonymously penetrate the corporate world instead and then write about the way in which things operate in reality in a similar manner to her earlier book in this case adopting her maiden name as a cover.

The corporate sector blanches at middle age too stroppy, too darn expensiveand middle-aged women are an anathema.

Perhaps these are defensible stances, but not when you present yourself, which she shamelessly and unironically does at one point, as deeply compassionate and empathetic, or as the scholarly investigative writer she equally believes herself to represent. The bottom line is: But what I encountered was a culture riven with assumptions unrelated to those that underlie the fact- and logic-based worlds of, wwitch science and journalism – a culture addicted to untested habits, paralyzed by conformity, and shot through with magical thinking.


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. And, after all you should expect ten or eleven jobs in a lifetime, so no need to be choosey. Although in theory it occupies a higher rung on the employment food chain, Bait and Switch is the more disheartening book.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. I have known a few of the unemployed middle class, at least one of whom was recently without work for more than a year, and none used the myriad switcch Ehrenreich so condescendingly employs.

Mar 06, Florence rated it really liked it Shelves: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Does she provide a solution?

Bait and Switch

Her hope is that future solutions lie in updated forms of ehrereich action that protect employees from the vicissitudes and volatility of the employment world. I was looking forward to reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s latest tome, Bait and Switch: I feel like this book itself was a bit of a bait and switch because the cover seems to indicate that the author is going to uncover some truths about modern corporate culture.

View all 10 comments. It wasn’t the story I thought it would be.

The Baig Pursuit of the American Dream. Still an interesting read, though it felt a bit drug out at times; I was most anxious to hear her thoughts once she got an actual job, which, of course, never came. In Ba The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from “our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism”–The New York Times Book Review Americans’ working lives are growing more precarious every day.

So many factors are working against you in getting a job — who you don’t know, what your credit score is, and even if you’ve been unemployed for some span of time it’s called a Gap — an employer won’t hire barbra simply because switcg been unemployed for some span of time through no fault or choice babrara their own.

That is – everybody! Ehrenreich does none of this. I really like this author, her other book was terrific, but I felt a bit let down by this one. The balance of the staff will just have to work that much harder. The question, unasked in this book, is: Perhaps most harrowing of all are the questions this book doesn’t ask–if a decent, graduated candidate can have this kind of trouble finding a job, what chance at all does a former convict or mentally ill person hoping anx clean up their act and support themselves have?


Unscientific personality tests bundle her into a variety of bogus categories – one proclaims her Original and Effective, another acclaims her as ‘the commandant’. Aug 05, Skywalker rated it liked it.

Desperation makes even very smart, very capable people fall pray to illogical behavior. Her story is an important one – poignant and blackly funny – that delivers a stark warning about the future that faces corporate snd everywhere and calls for collective action to guard against it. She also stresses the obvious, the need for a universal health system.

As she sets it out in her introduction, the goal of this book is to show what it takes to find a white-collar job in America. To see what nait friends thought of this book, please sign up. Let’s put a little more distance between me and my own college career before I start seriously thinking about those things.

Maybe it isn’t the content of the presentation that matters, but the discipline required to maintain the sitting posture and vague look of attentiveness for hours on end Yes, ehrrenreich may have lost a good paying job and a career at a time in your life when you should be thinking about retirement, but your life doesn’t have to end there.

One of the things I was involved with in my endless years as a trade union ratbag was reviewing position descriptions and job classification structures. The author is unable to look beyond her narrow reformist perspective and see that what is needed is not lobbying to patch up a dying monster, but an independent political movement of the working class against the system as a whole.

She didn’t entirely fib her work history, but she had several gaps and tried to portray herself as a contractor type with speech writing and meeting planning experience. Intrigued by reports of increasing poverty and despair within America’s white-collar corporate workforce, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to infiltrate their world as an undercover reporter and learn about the problems facing middle-class executives at first hand.