Barbara Ehrenreich

Historian, Author

1941 –

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Who is Barbara Ehrenreich?

Barbara Ehrenreich is an American feminist, democratic socialist, and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade", and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker. During the 1980s and early 1990s she was a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America. She is a widely read and award-winning columnist and essayist, and author of 21 books. Ehrenreich is perhaps best known for her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On Getting By in America. A memoir of Ehrenreich's three-month experiment surviving on minimum wage as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart clerk, it was described by Newsweek magazine as "jarring" and "full of riveting grit", and by The New Yorker as an "exposé" putting "human flesh on the bones of such abstractions as 'living wage' and 'affordable housing'".

Famous Quotes:

  • America is addicted to wars of distraction.
  • If men were equally at risk from this condition -- if they knew their bellies might swell as if they were suffering from end-stage cirrhosis, that they would have to go nearly a year without a stiff drink, a cigarette, or even an aspirin, that they would be subject to fainting spells and unable to fight their way onto commuter trains -- then I am sure that pregnancy would be classified as a sexually transmitted disease and abortions would be no more controversial than emergency appendectomies.
  • In sci-fi convention, life-forms that hadn't developed space travel were mere prehistory -- horse-shoe crabs of the cosmic scene -- and something of the humiliation of being stuck on a provincial planet in a galactic backwater has stayed with me ever since.
  • Someone has to stand up for wimps.
  • Upscale young men seem to go for the kind of woman who plays with a full deck of credit cards, who won't cry when she's knocked to the ground while trying to board the six o clock Eastern shuttle, and whose schedule doesn't allow for a sexual encounter lasting more than twelve minutes.
  • Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers; think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan.
  • Exercise is the yuppie version of bulimia.
  • No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.
  • There seems to be no stopping drug frenzy once it takes hold of a nation. What starts with an innocuous HUGS, NOT DRUGS bumper sticker soon leads to wild talk of shooting dealers and making urine tests a condition for employment -- anywhere.
  • The one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks.

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Born
Aug 26, 1941
Butte
Also known as
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara
  • Barbara Alexander
Children
Religion
  • Atheism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Bachelor of Arts, Reed College
    Chemistry
    ( - 1963)
  • PhD, Rockefeller University
    Cell biology
    (Specialized in Molecular and Cellular Immunology)
    ( - 1968)
Employment
  • Columnist, Mother Jones
Lived in
  • Butte
  • Florida

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Barbara Ehrenreich." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Dec. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/barbara_ehrenreich>.

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