Barbara Ehrenreich

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Barbara Ehrenreich (born August 26, 1941, in Butte, Montana) is a social critic and essayist. Her book Nickel and Dimed (2001) described her attempt to live on low-wage jobs and became a national bestseller in the United States, selling over 1 million copies; her companion book, Bait and Switch, was released in September 2005 and discusses her attempt to find a white-collar job. She is a prolific journalist who peppers her writing with a sardonic sense of humor. Ehrenreich is currently an honorary co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.

She was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Alexander, a copper miner who went on to study at Carnegie Mellon University and become an executive at the Gillette Corporation. In 1963, she graduated with a BA in physics from Reed College, titling her senior thesis Electrochemical oscillations of the silicon anode, and in 1968 she received a Ph.D. in cell biology from Rockefeller University. She decided not to pursue a career in science after graduating, citing her interest in social change [1], and instead became involved in politics as an activist. She met her first husband, John Ehrenreich, doing anti-war activism in New York City. In 1970, her first child, Rosa, was born (Rosa is now a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, writing under her married name, Rosa Brooks). Her second child, Benjamin was born in 1972. (Ben Ehrenreich is now a freelance journalist; his first novel, The Suitors, was published in 2006). She divorced Ehrenreich and in 1983 married Gary Stevenson, who was then working as a warehouse employee and later become a union organizer. She and Stevenson divorced in the early 1990s and she has not remarried.

From 1991 to 1997, Ehrenreich was a regular columnist for Time magazine. Currently, Ehrenreich is a regular columnist with The Progressive.

Ehrenreich has also written for the New York Times, Mother Jones, <a href="/w/index.php?title=The_Atlantic_Monthly&action=edit" class="new" title="The Atlantic