Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bait and Switch

Barbara Ehrenreich has been on my mind since I'm reading another one of her books, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. This book is a complementary copy sent to me by her publisher, solely because of this blog. (Does Ms. Ehrenreich realize that her books somehow fit in with gay sex, calculus, and marathon training?)

I may have seen Barbara Ehrenreich on Friday. As I was on the train coming back to the city, I saw a middle-aged white woman who looked just like the publicity photo of Barbara Ehrenreich. She was sitting a row behind me, but on the other side of the train. I got a little too excited, so I did what came naturally: I pulled "Bait and Switch" of out my bookbag, pretending to read while trying to get her attention. I left all subtleness behind as I practically raised the book over my head, swinging it across my shoulders.

The woman looked at my once or twice, either acknowledging the book or thinking I was crazy. I was hoping that she would come over to introduce herself, but sadly, no words were exchanged. I justified the situation by assuring myself that Barbara Ehrenreich was going undercover again, perhaps exposing the public transportation industry.

I checked her website when I got home. Sadly, she was in Chicago in the same evening to promote "Bait and Switch". She will be in Philadelphia in a few days, though. Below is the info for her appearance.

Barbara Ehrenreich
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 8:00PM
Central Library (Free Library of Philadelphia)
COST: $12, $8, $6
Ticket Info: Ticket and Subscription Packages
An outspoken feminist and social activist, Barbara Ehrenreich writes with great passion on subjects as varied as healthcare, sex, class, and families. Beginning in 1998, she spent two years living the life of the American working class. What she discovered became the best-selling exposé, Nickel and Dimed. Now, in Bait and Switch, she enters the economic shadow world of white-collar unemployment. Armed with a plausible résumé of a professional “in transition,” she attempts to land a middle-class job, and is rejected - again and again.


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