Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
The end of retirement?
From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession...more
"At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules (went to school, got a job and worked hard) everything would be fine. That's no longer true today. You can do everything right, just the way society wants you to do it, and still send up broke, alone, homeless."
A whole society of ...more
I'm not sure how this happened: A talented writer with a well-regarded agent sells a book to an established and deeply experienced editor at a very good publishing house; the net result is a series of magazine articles, good ones mind you, strung into chapters with some basic tarting-up transitions stuffed in the cracks.
The subject is the source of my upthrusting the earned three-star rating. I'm amazed and appalled that "the world is such a cruel place for the US middle ...more
I’m having a hard time reviewing this book. At its core it’s about a little known subculture of poor retirees who are basically forced by ...more
What do a former Washington State University academic adviser, former taxi driver, former advertising art director, former office manager, and former broadcast journalist have in common? They ...more
“At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules (went to school, got a job, and worked hard) everything would be fine. That’s no longer true today. You can do everything right, just the way society wants you to do it, and still end up broke, alone, and homeless.”
Nomadland is the three year study of a subset of retirees living the above quote. Either due to losing (or never acquiring) a pension, the housing ...more
took to the road after their savings were obliterated by the Great Recession. To keep
their gas tanks and bellies full, they work long hours at hard, physical jobs. In a time
of flat wages and rising housing costs, they have unshackled themselves from rent
and mortgages as a way to get by. They are surviving America."
I finished reading this book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century weeks ago ...more
"At one time there was a social contract that if you played by the rules (went to school, got a job, and worked hard) everything would be fine. That's no longer true today. You can do everything ...more
It was a very shocking eye opener when I first discovered that there are people living in cars, vans and RV's just to make ends meet.
The author has spent a long time talking and living with these nomads and even working
the same seasonal jobs. So we get a very interesting and real glimpse at their current lives and what causes people to ...more
They live in RVs, older converted vans and trucks, and occasionally ...more
This book is both a sociological treasure and a very personal study. The nomadic folks profiled herein by journalist/writer Jessica Bruder are a little different from me and my husband, as we chose this lifestyle after ...more
Nomadland started out as a frustrating read for me. The writing wasn’t great and the people were drawn superficially. Then about half way through, beginning with the chapter on the RV parks and the way of life in Quartzite Arizona, the book became more interesting.
First the bad, the ...more
The seasonal work they find tend to pay poorly and have terrible working ...more
It's one of those pretty damning indictments of America's social fabric. And let's be careful about too much Canadian smugness until we look at our own seniors.
I was moved by many of their plights and felt the apprehension they must all feel as they constantly are just one slip, one engine light, one unanticipated event from disaster.
That said, where the author, who writes well, fails to elaborate is on how these folks got to such an awful nexus. Understandably, she can't be a ...more
Having moved to Florida sometime later, I begged my dad to let me go camping with a group I'd just gotten involved with called the "Royal Rangers". For those who don't know, which is probably all of you, the Royal Rangers are the (very) Christian ...more
Businesses which have harvested trees and other Earth resources have misled consumers and are now abusing workers. Jessica Bruder tells of a group of migrant workers both challenged and imaginative, workers both limited and liberated, workers on the edge.
Journalist Jessica Bruder sometimes to a small extent and sometimes to a large extent gets in the way of the story. The end of the book is the most extreme example of getting in the way. Bruder wrote this last part as an ...more
For her most recent book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century" (W.W. Norton & Co.), she spent months living in a camper van, documenting itinerant Americans who gave up traditional housing and hit the road full time, enabling them to travel from job to job and carve out a place for themselves in ...more