In 2001 Barbara Ehrenreich opened people’s eyes to the life of America’s working poor with her provocative bestseller Nickel and Dimed. The author, journalist and speaker had gone under cover as a low-wage worker taking positions as different as Wal-Mart cashier and cleaning woman.
Team of Rivals enjoys a first printing of 400,000 hardcover copies, it is the featured selection of two prominent book clubs, and its film rights have been assigned to Steven Spielberg. Somewhere in all that present and anticipated ballyhoo lies a major source of this book’s central problem.
The war in Iraq grinds on, now at the cost of over 2,000 American lives and uncounted thousands of Iraqi lives. Few are reluctant to attack the way the Bush administration has managed the war, but fewer still are willing to say that this war should never have been waged. The U.S. should make what amends it can to the Iraqi people for the damage it has done and let them decide their own fate. Our task is not to “complete the mission," but to abandon it.
Good social analysis, like good theology, should provide at least two things for readers. First, it should provide an interpretive framework to help readers locate themselves in the contemporary world, to help them make sense out of what is happening.