This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation by Barbara Ehrenreich

Feb 20, 2009

For those readers familiar with Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, Ehrenreich offers a different type book here. Rather than inserting herself into a typical working-class existence, through a series of essays she examines the current state of America and what it means for the average American. From corporate irresponsibility to prisoner abuse, Ehrenreich intensely scrutinizes the duplicity of American politics and culture. Much of what she has to say, in my humble opinion, is right on target. For instance, in regards to the role that religion and spirituality play in our current political culture she says, “…what both parties need to understand is that economic issues are moral issues. Poverty is a moral issue; 47 million Americans without health insurance is a moral issue. The same goes for the environment: why fight to save a fertilized egg cell for a life spent gasping for air or fleeing the ever-rising coastlines? If you’re going to be prolife, you’ve got to be proenvironment and pro-economic justice.”

I found Ehrenreich’s viewpoints to be enlightening and her writing style terribly amusing. At times, however, her sarcasm was a little over the top and might encourage reader’s who disagree with her points to discount her arguments entirely.

Reviewed by Helen H.
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