Barbara Ehrenreich wrote “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” from her perspective as undercover journalist. The book sets out to explore 1996 welfare reform act impact on working poor in America. The purpose of this paper is to preview this classic book by considering its front cover, back cover, date of publication, table of contents, notes and bibliography, and author’s information.
The book’s front cover features a waitress. She actually gives a disturbed look over her shoulder. Thus, this indicates the difficulties that the working poor face. I think the book will not have humor because of that worried look that the waitress gives. In addition, this cover definitely makes the book look like a textbook because of how it is presented. I think the waitress is posed for the readers to get a rough picture of what the book is about. She looks scare and tired. The tone of graphics and font selection on the front of “Nickel and Dimed” book is passionate just like that of Affluenza. Just like Affluenza, the publisher of this book uses symbolism in the front cover. The back cover of this book has testimonials from other authors.
This book was initially published in May 2001. I have the second edition of this book. The book’s table of contents directly reveals the subject of sufferings faced by the working poor. For instance, there headings like serving in Florida, scrubbing in Maine, and selling in Minnesota discloses that the book is about difficulties that the working poor go through. For that reason, I think that the subject matter of this text is the difficulties faced by the low wage workers in America. Concerning this subject matter, I understand that the meager wages that these workers get from their lowly paid jobs do not meet all their basic needs. Therefore, this knowledge will facilitate my understanding of this text as I will have an urge of reading it more and more to increase my knowledge about the day to day difficulties that these workers face.
In addition, the table of contents tells that the book is divided into an introduction, body, and an evaluation. Just like the structure of Influenza’s table of contents, the book table of contents is also short. However, Influenza’s table of contents structure was organized in the following three sections symptoms, causes, which is not the case in this book. The author’s information is found in the first pages of the book. The information that is provided about the author is about her various works including this book. The information suggests that the author is against exploitation of poor workers.
Concerning the notes and bibliography, Ehrenreich has used footnotes to cite the information and outside sources just like how the authors in Affluenza have used them. Therefore, the readers immediately connect to the citation by the help of these footnotes. The authors in both books have also provided bibliographies and sources that they used in their works in the last pages of their books.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2001