Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Land is Their Land, by Barbara Ehrenreich

Published three years ago, this book's title and theme feel very current, with references to the 1% cropping up everywhere these days. I love Barbara Ehrenreich, but this isn't her best work. It's a collection of short essays and I guess newspaper columns; the shorter format doesn't seem to be a good showcase for her writing, which is characterized by a curmudgeonly tone, old-fashioned liberalism, and, usually, reliance on facts and empirical reason. In the shorter format, though, she kind of glosses over the "fact" stuff, replacing it with a punchy humor that sort of falls flat a lot of the time.

But there are still some great moments, like when she says she was caught trying to spread a rumor that Disney's "princess" line of toys are contaminated by lead, or when she honestly discusses why women, including herself, choose abortion. Still, if you haven't read Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed is definitely a better choice, and Bright Sided, better still.

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