Author Ehrenreich to Speak at Gustavus

Posted on March 26th, 2007 by

Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich

Gustavus Adolphus College will host social critic and author Barbara Ehrenreich, who wrote the nationally renowned book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (2001). The highlight of Ehrenreich’s visit will be a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 in Jussi Bjorling Recital Hall. Ehrenreich will be available to sign copies of her books immediately following the lecture.

Much of Ehrenreich’s writing is a reflection of her own personal experiences. To write Nickel and Dimed, she experienced firsthand the plight of millions of Americans who work for poverty-level wages. She moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a hotel maid, house cleaner, waitress, and Wal-Mart salesperson. Through her experience, she discovered — and wrote about — the difficulties involved with living at the poverty level.

Ehrenreich’s social critiques and political essays explore a diverse range of issues. Other than Nickel and Dimed, a small list of Ehrenreich’s works include: Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (1998), Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005), and For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women (2005).

In Blood Rites she explored the origins of our species’ attraction to violence and specifically tried to answer why humans are drawn to war and even see it as a kind of sacred undertaking. Her most recent book, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, will be released in July 2007.

The event is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and is open to the public. Tickets are required and may be purchased at the event for $5 per person; Gustavus students, staff, and faculty may attend for free. To obtain additional information about the event, e-mail Assistant Director of Student Activities Ryan Yunkers at or call 507/933-6282.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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