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Know Your Enemy (podcast): On Barbara Ehrenreich (w/ Alex Press & Gabriel Winant) 🎙️

This episode was unplanned, but when Barbara Ehrenreich died on September 1, 2022, we felt an urge to honor her memory and the profound influence she has had on the American left, socialism, feminism, and our collective thinking about class struggle. From her work in the women’s health movement of the 1960s, to her theorizing (with ex-husband John Ehrenreich) of the “professional-managerial class” in the 1970s, to her explorations of Reagan-era yuppie pathologies, and her renowned exposé of low-wage work in 2001’s Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich has been an essential and nuanced guide to the inner-life of American class conflict in the latter half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

It’s been nearly 20 years since I read Nickel and Dimed, assigned to all incoming freshmen at my college. I have since read some of Ehrenreich’s other 21st century books, in particular I remember Bait and Switch and Bright-Sided being quite good.

Rest in Peace.