I just read This Land is Your Their Land by Barbara Ehrenreich. I was somewhat looking forward to it because I read another book of her’s, Nickel and Dimed. I liked that book so I expected to like this one as well. Well, this book wasn’t what I was expecting. In Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich actively lives out a life of three jobs to see if these types of people can actually survive. These three jobs were waitress, maid, and Wal-Mart clothes attendant. In the end, you can probably tell that she struggled just by making ends meet. I expected her new book would have the same flavor, the same struggles, and the personal aspect to her previous. It wasn’t that at all.
The book has no personal aspirations nor detailing moments of personal struggles. That’s what made her last book great. Instead, we get a hodge-podge of articles that feels like they are from an op-ed piece in the newspaper. Indeed, in her acknowledgments page, she states that a few of them were op-ed pieces. They are extremely easy reads. All of them range from 2-3 pages.
Ehrenreich writes with sarcasm about the unfair treatment of people in America with various topics. These topics are: the inequality of wealth which leads to class struggles, illegal immigration, the lowering middle class, workers’ rights, health care, sexual issues, and religion.
While she makes perhaps a few good points, I would’ve loved to see arguments for her views. Most of the stuff was sarcastic wit on why the status quo doesn’t work. She certainly has a biting humor. Perhaps under different circumstances, I would’ve been in the mood for this. However, since I was expecting something with an argumentative bite, I was let down.
If, however, you feel like you want to read about certain injustices and why the status quo isn’t working out (with a bent to the left), this book might be for you. However, they are op-ed pieces and so there is no strong argumentative stability. Check it out for a quick read if you want to read about these issues. I’d give it 2 stars out of 5.