The Betrayal of Work: How Low-wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans And Their Families
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The Betrayal of Work: How Low-wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans And Their Families

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Following its publication in hardcover, the critically acclaimed Betrayal of Work became one of the most influential policy books about economic life in America; it was discussed in the pages of Newsweek, Business Week, Fortune, the Washington Post, Newsday, and USA Today, as well as in public policy journals and in broadcast interviews, including a one-on-one with Bill Mo...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by New Press, The
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Caitlin
Jun 24, 2009 Caitlin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who interacts with anyone in the service industry (all of us!)
Shelves: booksforschool, 2009
This book changed the way I think about poverty and low wage workers in the United States. Shulman headed a major union for several years, and I find that her background makes her a bit blind to the faults of modern unions. She touts them at the answer to all of America's labor problems, but does not address some of the major challenges unions are facing in this country.

With that disclaimer - this book is a must read. It reads like a novel, and the author really knows how to connect readers to...more
Terry Earley
This is disturbing, but important. As we have a national debate over health care and what our responsibility in relation to our fellow citizens really is, we must answer the moral question about a large and growing segment of our population who work long, hard hours for wages that cannot sustain a family.

Do we continue to allow this problem to get worse, or do something about it. Healthcare for all is a start. A living wage will bring us all into a better life.

Those who still argue against raisi...more
Maggie
A little out of date, but very relevant in light of the most recent State of the Union speech. Very eye opening about how unfair wages are in the US and how many people and which demographic they hit the hardest.
Holly
Very thought provoking, and she makes some good arguments, though I thought some of her solutions were either vague or unrealistic. But it is truly a shame in this country that people can work 60 hours a week and still can't afford a decent standard of living (by this I mean a warm home with such modern extravagances like refrigerators and microwaves and televisions, enough healthy food to eat, and medical care). This book makes the case that it's often the people working the hardest and the wor...more
Bella
ugh. the section on the poor chicken factory workers who suffer repetitive injuries and all kinds of inhumane indignities (i.e., no bathroom breaks) made me never want to eat chicken again. Maybe I'll slow down the chicken eating, unfortunately I can't stop it altogether, dammit.
Denali
A well reasoned clearly explained snapshot of the working poor in America. Should be required reading for all those aspiring to public office. Shulman's statement of the problem is excellent, but her policy recs are not as well explored as they could be.
Kristin
A very interesting book, full of useful information and statistics that were contextualized by personal stories. Occasionally got bogged down in details and footnotes, but that's probably useful when supporting numbers-heavy arguments like these.
Amanda
Minor issues is that the book is fairly short, less than 180 pages, yet the first half felt like it there was frequent repetition. Which then left little room for the proposed solutions. Still, I think it's worth a read.
Tree
An eye-opener regarding how many very hard-working Americans have no autonomy, no benefits, often have to work two jobs, unsafe conditions, and are treated disrespectfully.
Rebecca
Very much a companion to Nickel and Dimed - definitely worth reading. Excellent discussion of re-framing low-income work as low-skilled work.
Mary
a lot of statistics that could've been summarized better. not written very well - awkward sentences detracted from interesting points.
Katherine
Candidates for election to public office this year should be required to read this book.
Andrew
May 12, 2008 Andrew added it
Insight in to why the american job market isnt working...
Laura
Aug 20, 2007 Laura marked it as to-read
mentioned on 'NOW' & author interviewed
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