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This Land Is Their Land
Cover of This Land Is Their Land
This Land Is Their Land
Reports from a Divided Nation
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Barbara Ehrenreich’s first book of satirical commentary, The Worst Years of Our Lives, which was about the Reagan era, was received with bestselling acclaim. The one problem was the title: couldn’t some prophetic fact-checker have seen that the worst years of our lives - far worse - were still to come? 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.

Barbara Ehrenreich’s first book of satirical commentary, The Worst Years of Our Lives, which was about the Reagan era, was received with bestselling acclaim. The one problem was the title: couldn’t some prophetic fact-checker have seen that the worst years of our lives - far worse - were still to come? 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.

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About the Author-
  • Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine 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 book more than the reader, which is perhaps not a bad thing. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 24, 2008
    When a hospital employee whose hospital-supplied insurance doesn't cover her hospital-incurred bill finds her wages garnished, where's a political satirist to go for material? Feisty, fearlessly progressive Ehrenreich offers laughter on the way to tears in 62 previously published essays that show “the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.” She investigates pockets of poverty among undocumented workers, military families and recent college graduates. Ehrenreich's reach is capacious, encompassing not only unemployment, health insurance and inflation, but corporate spying, cancer studies, marriage education, the “abstinence training business” and “Disney's Princess products.” Her passion, compassion and wit keep these excursions lively and timely—even when yesterday's headlines provide the immediate provocation, e.g., JetBlue's “snow snafu.” The vignettes go down a bit like eating peanuts—too many at one time palls, but they're not unhealthy, unless you have an allergic reaction to Ehrenreich's message: “America is being polarized between the superrich few and the subrich everyone else.” Entertaining Ehrenreich certainly is, but she raises a hard, serious question: “How many 'wake-up calls' do we need, people...?”

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This Land Is Their Land
This Land Is Their Land
Reports from a Divided Nation
Barbara Ehrenreich
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