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Dean's Diminished Virginia Lee Franklin Lecture: Nickel and Dimed: On "Not" Getting by in America

University of Maryland School of Nursing
University of Maryland School of Nursing
655 W. Lombard Street
Baltimore  Maryland
United States
4:00pm to 5:30pm

Reception and book signing immediately following lecture.


Why are so many Americans chronically poor, even in times of overall prosperity? The self-comforting middle class myth has been that the poor have only themselves to blame, as if poverty were a bad lifestyle choice. Barbara Ehrenreich asserts that America's persistent poverty arises from the combination of low wages and high expenses. In her talk, Ehrenreich will highlight her recent work on the plight of the already-poor during our nation’s current recession. One response to the recession has been that more and more Americans have had to give up on health care. This poses a real challenge for health care professionals: What is one's professional responsibility when there is so little governmental or social support?   


Barbara Ehrenreich is a best-selling journalist, historian, and social commentator. The author of the million-copy best-seller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America and the New York Times best-seller Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Ehrenreich has written a dozen other books that capture the struggles of hardworking Americans. Her newest book, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, has just been released. A frequent contributor to Harper’s and The Nation, Ehrenreich has been a columnist at the New York Times and Time Magazine. In 2004, she received the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, given annually to an American who challenges the status quo “through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, and socially responsible work of significance.”