what i'm reading: barbara ehrenreich

I recently finished the extraordinary book, The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart. It is a brief, brilliant book that I won't soon forget. Accompany Rory Stewart on his walk across Afghanistan. You won't be sorry.

I realize it may seem that I love every book I read. But in fact, I only write "what i'm reading" posts for books that I really like. If I don't like a book, I won't blog about it. Writers work too hard, for too little, to be cut down by my personal preferences. I don't want to discourage anyone from reading anything.

I just started reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. This is a follow-up to her great book, Nickled And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America. I loved Nickled And Dimed - it's required reading, as far as I'm concered - and I'm expecting good things from Bait And Switch.

Of all the political writers I read, Ehrenreich is perhaps the one I most admire, the person whose career I am most envious of. That's because she writes for everyone. I love to read (for example) Katha Pollitt, and I don't know what I'd do without her insight, wit and vision. But Pollitt writes mainly for other lefties, where Ehrenreich brings her progressive vision to a mainstream audience. Both are necessary and important - and believe me, this is not a slight to the great Katha Pollitt. Ehrenreich does, with tremendous success, what I'm always trying to do with my own writing, in any small way I can.

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