Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes

Barbara Ehrenreich (/??r?nra?k/; born August 26, 1941) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade", and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker. During the 1980s and early 1990s she was a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of America. She is a widely read and award-winning columnist and essayist, and author of 21 books. Ehrenreich is perhaps best known for her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. A memoir of Ehrenreich's three-month experiment surviving on minimum wage as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart clerk, it was described by Newsweek magazine as "jarring" and "full of riveting grit", and by The New Yorker as an "exposé" putting "human flesh on the bones of such abstractions as 'living wage' and 'affordable housing'".

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Barbara Ehrenreich


The Civil Rights Movement, it wasn't just a couple of, you know, superstars like Martin Luther King. It was thousands and thousands - millions, I should say - of people taking risks, becoming leaders in their community.

Barbara Ehrenreich


Well, the first thing that clued me in to the fact that there was something really scary about breast cancer, way beyond the thought of dying, was coming across an ad in the newspaper for pink breast cancer teddy bears. I am not that afraid of dying, but I am terrified of dying with a pink teddy bear under my arm.

Barbara Ehrenreich


That's the really neat thing about Dan Quayle, as you must have realized from the first moment you looked into those lovely blue eyes: impeachment insurance.

Barbara Ehrenreich


For a long time on Earth humans didn't worship good gods; that's a new idea. The ancient Greek gods, the Hindu gods, are fairly amoral, most of them. We get stuck when we insist that God be both good and all-powerful.

Barbara Ehrenreich


I have a Ph.D. in cell biology. And that's really manual labor. I mean, experimental science, you do it with your hands. So it's very different. You're out there in a lab, cleaning test tubes, and it just wasn't that fascinating.

Barbara Ehrenreich


I became a student of the history of religion. I am fascinated by how religions often center on mystical experience, and in the Old Testament tradition you find flames, the burning bush.

Barbara Ehrenreich


It was a real surprise to me to come across the evidence that Christianity might once have been a danced religion. Certainly, some of the early church leaders thought this was great and spoke of what seems to have been circle dancing, perhaps around an altar.

Barbara Ehrenreich


A research group found that 56 percent of major companies surveyed in the late '80s agreed that 'employees who are loyal to the company and further its business goals deserve an assurance of continued employment.' A decade later, only 6 percent agreed. It was in the '90s that companies started weeding people out as a form of cost reduction.

Barbara Ehrenreich


I know that the last thing a book wants is to just sit around unread, serving as an element of interior decorating. So when I have people over, all they have to do is glance at my books, and I implore them to take a few home with them. If I am really ambitious, I pack books into boxes and donate them to prisons.

Barbara Ehrenreich


In 1993, 89 of the 'Fortune' top 100 companies were administering the Myers-Briggs test to their employees. The philosophy behind personality tests is that they don't want you to be in the wrong kind of job. The tests have been completely exposed as nonsense.

Barbara Ehrenreich


I would never call myself a cancer survivor because I think it devalues those who do not survive. There's this whole mythology that people bravely battle their cancer and then they become survivors. Well, the ones who don't survive may be just as brave, you know, just as courageous, wonderful people.

Barbara Ehrenreich


We - we spend a lot of time, scholarly time, thinking about love and sex, but very little about the - the kind of joy that can take over a crowd of people or a group of people, in festivity, in ecstatic ritual of some kind, in celebration.

Barbara Ehrenreich


I didn't want to be an author; I wanted to be a scientist. Not that I didn't love literature, but I couldn't distinguish it from reading, and reading was already my default activity, almost like breathing.

Barbara Ehrenreich


Yes, I think especially the Pentecostal churches, you know, that there's been such a growth in Pentecostalism. And it's a rejection of the much more dour and barren kind of Calvinist worship and also, the very formal Catholic forms of worship.

Barbara Ehrenreich


Well I do think there are people who are habitually negative and depressed and take the opposite approach because they imagine the worst, and their minds become dominated by that. They let their own emotions and expectations transform their perceptions of the world.

Barbara Ehrenreich