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The great Barbara Ehrenreich has died. A towering intellectual, journalist, and thinker, she was the author of numerous groundbreaking books about the U.S. economy, health care, the wellness industry, feminism and more. Ehrenreich was best known for her 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America which investigated the real impacts of Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act and went on to become a best-seller.

As part of her research for the book she went undercover to work as a waitress in order to see first hand what it was like to try to financially survive on a full-time low wage job in the U.S. She later wrote a companion book, Bait and Switch.

Ehrenreich  founded the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and was an honorary co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. She also served on the NORML board of directors, the Institute for Policy Studies board of trustees and the editorial board of The Nation.

Barbara Ehrenreich passed away on September 1st at the age of 81.
In 2009, just as the Great Recession was in full swing, Ehrenreich wrote another seminal book, Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America. I had the honor of interviewing her by phone about it. Today we’ll replay that interview in her honor.

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