Hand to Mouth

Hand to Mouth

Living in Bootstrap America

Format
ePub
Price
$12.99
 
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9780698175280
  • 224 Pages
  • G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  • Adult

Overview

“I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Well, not this book, because I never imagined that the book I was waiting for would be so devastatingly smart and funny, so consistently entertaining and unflinchingly on target. In fact, I would like to have written it myself – if, that is, I had lived Linda Tirado’s life and extracted all the hard lessons she has learned. I am the author of Nickel and Dimed, which tells the story of my own brief attempt, as a semi-undercover journalist, to survive on low-wage retail and service jobs. Tirado is the real thing.”
—from the foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed


We in America have certain ideas of what it means to be poor. Linda Tirado, in her signature brutally honest yet personable voice, takes all of these preconceived notions and smashes them to bits. She articulates not only what it is to be working poor in America (yes, you can be poor and live in a house and have a job, even two), but what poverty is truly like—on all levels. 
In her thought-provoking voice, Tirado discusses how she went from lower-middle class, to sometimes middle class, to poor and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why “poor people don’t always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should.” 
 

Praise

“The woman who accidentally  explained poverty to the nation.” —The Huffington Post

“Educative . . . Tirado’s raw reportage offers solidarity for those on the front lines of hardship yet issues a cautionary forewarning to the critical: ‘Poverty is a potential outcome for all of us.’ Outspoken and vindictive, Tirado embodies the cyclical vortex of today’s struggle to survive.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The great thing about writing is that it doesn’t discriminate, with regard to race or gender or anything, class included. Being rich and advantaged doesn’t mean you won’t be cruelly exposed on paper as a pompous fraud. Conversely, if you write well, being broke and tired won’t prevent your talent and mental clarity from shining through. Linda Tirado is just a terrific writer. There’s a crucial passage in Hand to Mouth where Linda asks why we all can’t at least just agree that someone has to do the grunt work, and that there’s dignity in that, too. With this strong and unembarrassed account of her life on the edges of poverty Linda single-handedly re-takes some of the dignity that has been stripped from people without means in this singularly greed-dominated, most mean-spirited generation in America’s history. Honesty has its own power and this is a most honest book. Everyone who thinks things are just fine in this country should read it.” —Matt Taibbi, New York Times bestselling author

“Linda Tirado tells it like it is for tens of millions of America’s low-wage workers—a group that’s growing even as America’s billionaires rake in ever more of the nation’s total income and wealth. The top hedge-fund partner got $3.5 billion in 2013. That came to $1,750,000 an hour. Yet somehow we can’t even raise the minimum wage. Read what Linda has to say and you’ll understand it’s not because Linda or other low-wage workers somehow deserve to be treated this way any more than the $3.5 billion hedge-fund deserves his pay. The game is rigged and we must un-rig it.” —Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, national bestselling author of Aftershock

“When our economy and our democracy are both broken, the story Linda Tirado writes here is simply known as real life for millions of Americans who are going broke every day and feel ignored by our government. Every American deserves an equal seat at the table in the halls of power and a wage that can put food on the dinner table. Hand to Mouth should serve as a red flag to the politicians in Washington and the millionaires on Wall Street, this is why we the people are mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.” —Cenk Uygur, Host of The Young Turks (www.tytnetwork.com)
 
“For those who have never had the experience, Tirado’s book allows you to hear, smell, taste, feel and visualize life as a minimum wage worker. It also leaves you with two inescapable conclusions. First, poverty can happen to anyone—even if you are born into the middle class. Second, you can educate people until you are blue in the face, but as long as there are jobs that require sweeping floors, flipping burgers, or waiting tables, we will never eliminate poverty until everyone who works is paid a living wage.” —Robert Creamer, Democracy Partners, author of Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win
 
Hand to Mouth delivers the message to America’s poorest citizens, ‘You are not alone,’ and it represents a wake-up call to the world’s wealthiest individuals that income inequality has dangerous economic consequences for real people. It is an insightful, heart-wrenching, and at times laugh-out-loud look into how a third of our fellow Americans are living as poor people in an economy that only serves the top 1%. If you can afford to purchase this book, you will be peering into a world you likely have never known and definitely will never forget. Tirado’s words read like a conversation over coffee, but she delivers a devastating blow to our current economic assumptions equivalent to a modern day Oliver Twist or The Jungle.” —Ryan Clayton, Executive Director, Wolf-PAC.com
 
 

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