Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (Paperback)
The U.S. has the most unequal society of the developed countries according to the World Bank and other international economic forecasting organizations. What has happened to some Americans who were hit hard by the 2008 recession and other circumstances such as job losses, ill health, or personal issues? Jessica Bruder observes a world of nomads that most of us are not aware of. Many nomads are older Americans who worked hard their entire life and unexpectedly lost their homes and middle class status. They are now living in vans, converted trucks, and RVs. They are “workcampers” for Amazon during the holidays, harvest beets in the Dakotas, work at state parks as hosts, and do other low paying part-time jobs. The exploitation of these workers is horrendous. They are very clever and able to eke out an existence that barely keeps them fed and clothed. They are the victims of our broken and corrupt social order. Read this book for a better understanding of what happens to our shrinking middle class.— From Joan's Picks
From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.
Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.