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The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A funny, sharp, irreverent look at the decade that gave new meaning to greed, reaction, anti-feminism, political cowardice and religious frenzy--the long-awaited collection of Barbara Ehrenreich's controversial and much talked about essays.
Paperback, 275 pages
Published May 1st 1991 by Harper Perennial (first published 1990)
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Sep 17, 2011 Stephen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stephen by: Crow Book Shop - Burlington, VT
typical Barbara Ehrenreich - so not only do I agree completely with what she writes, but am laughing hysterically the entire time I am reading the essay. The book is a collection of essays written during the 80s, covering many topics: politics, greed, GWB, Nancy Reagan, yuppies, jogging, the rise of foodies etc...AND what is astonishing to me, so prescient for today. Come to think of it I would now say that the decade of the 80s set the foundation for how we live today, while I have read other b ...more
The word "irreverent" has been used to describe this collection of short essays by Ehrenreich many times, but I don't think it's an accurate description. This book, which is a collection of essays written about the 1980's, is about the collision of two competing Weltanschauungs: the radical, histrionic ethos that was popular in the 1960's and the 1980's focus on money-making and conspicuous consumption embodied by so-called "yuppies". Ehrenreich is not boldly striking out on her own and slaying ...more
This book was both funny and terrifying. It is sad that nothing at all has changed in + or - 25 years except for the names.
More than a few throwaway essays here, but when Ehrenreich is on, she's on. The highlight of the book is definitely her review of Bellah et al's Habits of the Heart and her claim that America doesn't need a moral revival through that old-time religion, but through that old-time socialism.
Absolutely hilarious. Serious satire. Some of my favorite essays in this include "Premature Pragmatism", "The Cult of Busyness," "Language Barrier" and "Blocking The Gates of Heaven."

Ehrenreich writes so wonderfully of a time of change and predicts the 2010's world in this 1991 book. She saw the trends. What was satire is sometimes reality now. I don't think she could have envisioned the Bush Jr. era at the time. Anyways I am interested in finding more recent works of hers. These essays still f
Will Byrnes
This is a collection of articles Ehrenreich wrote in the 80’s covering a wide range of topics, but with a heavily political orientation. Democracy, feminism, the culture of the 80’s comes under her incisive analytical gaze, but she manages the job with a surprising amount of humor. I was not expecting that. The pieces have, in many instances, relevance to the 2000’s as well as the 1980’s. But the idolization of greed was newer then and the right-wingers had not yet made such a mess of the world ...more
Usually funny, and occasionally insightful. More concern trolling than I usually go for
I love Barbara Ehrenreich for her "meanness," as one blurber put it, as much as her bluntness, and Worst Years had plenty. Of course, everything is dated today, but I still found the anti-Nancy Reagan & jogging tirades to be hilarious. Ehrenreich's blue-collar rage is always funnier than anyone else's, as it's actually legitimate (her father worked in the Montana mines).
This book is a series of satirical essays written in the mid to late eighties. Even though she goes way left, this author is such a great thinker and so funny that I can deal with a little (okay a lot) of knee jerk liberal bias. And her other books are great too!
Hank Stuever
My first real taste of the brilliance of Barbara Ehrenreich.
not her best
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Barbara Ehrenreich is the bestselling author of sixteen previous books, including the bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. A frequent contributor to Harpers and The Nation, she has also been a columnist at The New York Times and Time Magazine.

More about Barbara Ehrenreich...
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts' Advice to Women

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