In this collection of short essays, Ehrenreich takes on her usual topics - economic and social injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich, the diminishment of American freedoms and of the middle class - all from her usual strongly populist viewpoint. Cassandra Campbell's voice is pleasant and professional. Perhaps it's too soothing - it could have a bit more edge, given Ehrenreich's nearly constant use of sardonic mockery, satire, and plain old disdain. Misreadings and mispronunciations, while few, are glaring. Still, Campbell expresses the feelings the text conveys (though never very strongly), modulates her voice skillfully, and is easy to listen to. The listener will recall the audio more than the print reader, which is perhaps not a bad thing.
Here they are, the 2000s, and in This Land Is Their Land, Ehrenreich subjects them to the most biting and incisive satire of her career.
Taking the measure of what we are left with after the cruelest decade in memory, Ehrenreich finds lurid extremes all around. While members of the moneyed elite can buy congressmen, many in the working class can barely buy lunch. While a wealthy minority obsessively consumes cosmetic surgery, the poor often go without health care for their children. And while the corporate C-suites are now nests of criminality, the less fortunate are fed a diet of morality, marriage, and abstinence.
Ehrenreich's antidotes are as sardonic as they are spot-on: pet insurance for your kids; Salvation Army fashions for those who can no longer afford Wal-Mart; and boundless rage against those who have given us a nation scarred by deepening inequality, corroded by distrust, and shamed by its official cruelty.
©2008 Barbara Ehrenreich; (P)2008 Tantor
"Provocative, angry and funny, often at the same time." (Kirkus)
"[Ehrenreich's] passion, compassion and wit keep these excursions lively and timely." (Publishers Weekly)
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"Laundry list of sins against the average joe."
It contained no new insights just the age old laundry list of sins by corporate / state interests and the seemingly endless bull Americans will endure. This was obviously a 'preach to the choir' piece. Pretty much pointless overall.
I would start off that my most Conservative friends would probably starting offering a lot of foul language at the author, if they read this book. At first, I notices all the material which appears in her other books. She does good work, and I've read and enjoyed those works, but, at first, I was a little concerned that there would little or nothing new on offer. What I found instead was a much broader approach and, in the end, quite refreshing. This is one way to look at America today, and our many issues. I think it's a refreshing view, and something we need to keep an eye on.
"I love the author, but..."
I enjoyed "Nickel and Dimed," so I was excited to discover another book by the same author. Those I agreed with the views presented, it dissolved into a somewhat-disorganized political rant.
This should be required reading punishable by imprisonment in prison in Guantanamo if not read by all Fox News watchers and Sarah Palin supporters.
Worth a listen if and only if
1. Your a bit liberal. Conservatives probably would rather not hear facts. Not that this book is just facts, that's just what she uses to make her points.
2. You like political rants. While this is not per say a political rant, it does have that liberal rant feel.
Like I said worth a listen, does have a nice use of sarcasm, and some very good points on the topics she covers. Highly recommend.
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