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TTU News

Published: Fri Sep 25, 2009

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2009) — Journalist, historian and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich will present “Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in Tennessee Tech University’s Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

In 2001, Ehrenreich's “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” became a New York Times bestseller and has since sold over one million copies. “Nickel and Dimed,” a trenchant examination of working-class poverty that chronicles Ehrenreich's own attempt to live on minimum wage, is now required reading at more than 600 colleges and universities.

Ehrenreich says her experience changed her in important and unexpected ways.

“’Nickel and Dimed’ plunged me into the nascent living wage movement, traveling to union rallies, picket lines and organizing meetings around the country,” she said. “Once terrified of public speaking, I became comfortable addressing crowds through a bull horn, with no notes at all. I got arrested at a protest with Yale workers; I joined picket lines with hotel workers in Santa Monica and janitors in Miami; I leafleted for a living wage in Charlottesville and marched with ACORN in Michigan.”

The author of 14 books and a frequent contributor to Harper's and The Nation, Ehrenreich has been a columnist at the New York Times and Time magazine. In 2004, she received the Nation Institute/Puffin Foundation Prize for Creative Citizenship, given annually to an American who challenges the status quo "through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, socially responsible work of significance."

Ehrenreich's “Bait and Switch,” also a New York Times bestseller, exposed the ever more prevalent phenomenon of white-collar unemployment. Her latest book, “Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America,” will be released in October.

Ehrenreich’s presentation, a Center Stage event hosted by TTU’s Sociology Club, is free and open to the public. She will attend a reception and book signing in the President's Conference Room after the presentation. For more information, contact Ada Haynes at or 931-372-3815.