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Nomadland: Surviving America in the…
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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (edizione 2018)

di Jessica Bruder (Autore)

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Employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves "workampers." Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects, accompanying them from job to job in the dark underbelly of the American economy, while celebrating their resilience and creativity.… (altro)
Utente:plantlover
Titolo:Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
Autori:Jessica Bruder (Autore)
Info:WW Norton (2018), 320 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century di Jessica Bruder

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I decided to “read” (actually, I listened to the book) “Nomadland” because I had seen the movie. In fact, I saw it on Hulu,and I liked it so much, Ifound a theater that was showing it and went to see it on the big screen. It didn’t take long for me to realized that the book version of the movie bore little resemblance to the movie. One big difference between the two is the treatment of Amazon and their fulfillment centers where many of the van-living crowd works seasonally. The book is much more a comment on the state of older Americans as they approach and then pass their retirement years. Much of it is mildly depressing, especially for those of us in that age category. I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to those who enjoyed the movie. ( )
  DanDiercks | May 14, 2021 |
I'm at the age where I found this difficult, and a little frightening, but well told.
  bookczuk | May 8, 2021 |
“ Social Security is now the largest single source of income for most Americans sixty five and older. But it’s woefully inadequate. ‘Instead of a three legged stool, (SS, pension, savings), we have a pogo stick’.” P 66

Before reading this book, I had visions of happy RV’ers on extended vacations. I had even imagined myself as a campground host, whiling away a summer along one of my favorite lakes.

But the reality that author Jessica Bruder found is much different. For the most part, the people she followed are living on very little cash – often social security income in the $700 per month range.

Many once had solidly middle class careers; a few had six figure incomes. But layoffs happened, and savings and pension funds disappeared. Others worked minimum wage jobs their entire lives, and as retirement age loomed, found themselves without means of support.

Now they live in a variety of camping vehicles, trailers, vans and converted buses. Most of these vehicles are older, so that the living quarters and the vehicles that pull them are also subject to a variety of breakdowns.

Their owners follow the temporary jobs; sugar beet harvests, campground hosts, temporary pre- holiday jobs at Amazon. These jobs are physically demanding, often resulting in injury with no compensation.

These modern nomads take pride in their independence and self-reliance. For the most part, they are just getting by monetarily – there is no way off this treadmill by saving a bit of money and getting back into regular housing.

They do, however enjoy strong community ties – people helping people, strong friendships and amazing gatherings, such as the winter gathering in Quartzite, Arizona.

The inadequate safety net for the elderly in the U.S. is saddening. What will happen to them when they can no longer do the demanding work?

I'll be interested to watch the movie, made with many of the original 'nomads' that Bruder interviewed. ( )
  streamsong | May 2, 2021 |
I saw the movie first because I didn't realize there was a book, but yes! The book is better. The book dives in to the establishment of a new lower middle class. Older Americans who lost their houses and retirements during the recession of the early 21st century are forced into their campers and travel trailers to hit the road and survive however they can, without a permanent residence that is sapping them economically. The community they form on the road is heart-warming, the labor they endure at a time when their better-off peers are retiring is frightening. They get by with resilience and because they have no other choice, living in campers, vans, and even a Prius, traveling to where the jobs are, working long hard hours for just enough money to scrape by. You'll never look at a pick-up camper the same way again. ( )
  mojomomma | Apr 19, 2021 |
April 8
Nomandland was first brought to my attention by the award winning movie, which I held off watching when I noticed it also become a " big read book" on Overdrive. I don't often read nonfiction, but I'm glad I entered into to this fascinating journalistic accomplishment by Jessica Bruder. By dedicating some three years of her life traveling and genuinely befriending various mobile nomads, she was able to provide an important perspective on a unique way of life for a growing population that is too poor to afford housing. They are not homeless they are houseless, and the general optimism conveyed by the group is perhaps the most impressive part. They are of retirement age but did not manage to carve out that necessary three legged condition of the dream: "composed of Social Security, private pensions, and combined investments and savings." They are not lazy people, but people who worked minimum wage jobs or had financial difficulties after the housing bust of 2008, or got backed up in credit card debt or suffered from addiction-- there are many stories that contribute to their current situation, and the author does a nice job of painting them with a sympathetic, yet non-condescending brush. Linda May is her main focus, a 67 year old single mother who joins the workamper force,(see definition below),either hosting at a national park or suffering through stints of Amazon employment. Her dream is to build her own Earthship, a self sustained home built from dirt-filled tires and solar panels so that she can live without need from others. You can google the earthship nautilus, or the Greater World Earthship Community or even the famous convention where for two weeks in Quartzsite, Arizona, thousands of RVers meet to share stories and tips for how to live this life.
Another important aspect of the book is its commentary of our changing society. The gap that exists between wealthy and the poor continues to turn into a chasm. Amazon has capitalized on these aging but uncomplaining workers, but even now in the news it is starting to get noticed for their unfavorable working expectations. “Starting with the younger baby boomers, each successive generation is now doing worse than previous generations in terms of their ability to retire without seeing a drop in living standards.” This trend towards living housefree is only getting bigger and the working poor continue to grow. It certainly makes me feel appreciative about my life.
I will be curious to see the movie now, more especially because Francis McDormant will, I assume, be playing Linda May.

Workampers are modern mobile travelers who take temporary jobs around the U.S. in exchange for a free campsite—usually including power, water and sewer connections—and perhaps a stipend. You may think that workamping is a modern phenomenon, but we come from a long, long tradition. We followed the Roman legions, sharpening swords and repairing armor. We roamed the new cities of America, fixing clocks and machines, repairing cookware, building stone walls for a penny a foot and all the hard cider we could drink. We followed the emigration west in our wagons with our tools and skills, sharpening knives, fixing anything that was broken, helping clear the land, roof the cabin, plow the fields and bring in the harvest for a meal and pocket money, then moving on to the next job. Our forebears are the tinkers. We have upgraded the tinker’s wagon to a comfortable motor coach or fifth-wheel trailer. Mostly retired now, we have added to our repertoire the skills of a lifetime in business. We can help run your shop, handle the front or back of the house, drive your trucks and forklifts, pick and pack your goods for shipment, fix your machines, coddle your computers and networks, work your beet harvest, landscape your grounds or clean your bathrooms. We are the techno-tinkers.

“Jeff Bezos has predicted that, by the year 2020, one out of every four work campers in the United States will have worked for Amazon,”

A recent poll suggests that Americans now fear outliving their assets more than they fear dying.

After the New Deal, economists began referring to America’s retirement-finance model as a “three-legged stool.” This sturdy tripod was composed of Social Security, private pensions, and combined investments and savings.

All of which is to say that Social Security is now the largest single source of income for most Americans sixty-five and older.

(It’s sad—but not surprising—that teeth have become a status symbol in a country where more than one in three citizens lack dental coverage, which isn’t included with standard medical insurance.)

The satirical website “Stuff White People Like” sums it up like this: If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a “nightmare” or “a worst-case scenario like after a plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as “camping.”

When I stopped to use the restroom, the inside of my stall had a chart with a color palette ranging from pale yellow to terrifying puce. It instructed me to find the shade that matched my urine and suggested that I should be drinking more water.

“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops,” reflected the late writer Stephen Jay Gould. A deepening class divide makes social mobility all but impossible.

Today the United States has the most unequal society of all developed nations. America’s level of inequality is comparable to that of Russia, China, Argentina, and the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. ( )
  novelcommentary | Apr 8, 2021 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (1 potenziale)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Jessica Bruderautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
White, KarenNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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Employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security comes up short, often underwater on mortgages, these invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in late-model RVs, travel trailers, and vans, forming a growing community of nomads: migrant laborers who call themselves "workampers." Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects, accompanying them from job to job in the dark underbelly of the American economy, while celebrating their resilience and creativity.

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