Barbara Ehrenreich

2001 Lannan Literary Fellowship for Nonfiction

photo of Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich is a social critic, freelance journalist, activist, reviewer, and the author of 21 books.  She was born in 1941 in Montana and is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, OR, and received a PhD in cell biology from Rockefeller University, NY.  By the 1970’s, she was involved with the nascent women’s health movement and teaching at the State University of New York, Old Westbury. After publishing an article in Ms magazine, she became a regular columnist there and with Mother Jones. Numerous books followed and then she published The New York Times best seller Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America in 2001. Following a similar article Ehrenreich wrote for Harper’s, the book chronicles her three-month attempt to survive on the wages earned in numerous low-paying positions including as a waitress, a maid, a house cleaner, and a Wal-Mart clerk.

In 2005, she published in a similar vein, Bait and Switch, in which she writes of her efforts to find and hold a white-collar job. She is also the author of This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation. In May 2012 she founded, with the Institute for Policy Studies, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a website designed to place the U.S. crisis of poverty and economic insecurity at the center of the national political conversation.

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