Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"This Land is Their Land" by Barbara Ehrenreich

I've been a fan of Ehrenreich's since reading "Nickel and Dimed". I enjoy her arguments on paying people a fair wage, on covering their health insurance, and basically on making it possible for people to acheive their dreams. It went without saying that I was going to read this book, which I did. And I really liked it, but not for the reason you'd think.

This particular work is a collection of previously published essays, so there's not really any new ground being covered here. The essay format was really nice for someone like me that wants to read the author's take on several different subjects, rather than one longer, more detailed work. It gives Ehrenreich the chance to cover wide scope of social issues, including but not limited to illegal immigrants, military families, unemployment, health insurance, corporate spying, cancer, and even - gasp - Disney's Princess products.

A little does go a long way, so I'd take my time with this book. Read an essay or two, ponder on them, give yourself time to digest the information, then hit a few more. It's also a good way to dip your toe into Ehrenreich's style of writing, which is not for the faint of heart. She does at times lean very close to the bleeding-heart liberal line, but most of her arguments are sound. And as she very clearly points out in most of these essays, the rich continue to get richer, to the detriment of those with very little to their names.

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