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Barbara Ehrenreich, 'myth-busting' author and activist dies | Entertainment

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NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Ehrenreich, author, activist, and self-professed “myth destroyer” whose notable works such as “Nickel and Dimed” and “Bait and Switch” have championed class, religious and It challenged conventional thinking about the idea itself. The American Dream passed away at the age of 81.

Ehrenreich died Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, said her son, author and journalist Ben Ehrenreich. She recently had a stroke.

“She was ready to go, obviously,” Ben Ehrenreich tweeted on Friday. “She never thought or prayed much, but we can honor her memory by loving each other and fighting desperately.”

Born Barbara Alexander in Butte, Montana, she grew up in a unionist family. Her family rules included “do not cross the picket line or vote Republican.” She studied physics as an undergraduate at Reed College and earned a PhD in immunology from Rockefeller University. Beginning in the 1970s, she worked as a teacher and researcher and became increasingly active in the feminist movement, from writing pamphlets to appearing at national conferences. He co-authored a book on student activism, Long March, Short Spring.

A prolific writer who regularly published articles in books, newspapers and magazines, Ehrenreich honed his accessible prose style to bring his otherwise unsettling and unsentimental ideas to a wide audience. She despised individualism, organized religion, the unregulated economy, and what Norman Vincent Peale called “the power of positive thinking.”

A supporter of liberal causes, from trade unions to abortion rights, Ehrenreich shared his thoughts based on his own experiences. The birth of her daughter Rosa, she later explained, inspired her to become a feminist, and her battle with breast cancer a few years ago was a reference to her 2009 book, Bright-Sided. ” had an impact on In it, she recalls the bland platitudes and assurances of the Service-to-Other, and explores to the point of ignoring America’s claim to optimism (which she called a religion). Many troubles in the country.

“We need to be prepared to fight the dreadful obstacles imposed by our own creation and the natural world, and the first step is to recover from the mass delusion of positive thinking,” she said. I am writing.

“Positive thinking served as an apology for the cruel aspects of the market economy. If optimism is the key to material success, and if optimism can be achieved through the discipline of positive thinking, then the excuse for failure is No. So the flip side of positivity is a tough insistence on personal responsibility.”

One of her most famous books, Nickel and Dimed, teaches first-hand about the struggles of the working poor, who worked at minimum-wage jobs and called them “our society’s leading philanthropists.” I made it.

“They neglect their own children and let other people’s children be cared for. They live in substandard housing so the other houses are spotless and perfect. As high as they are, they endure want,” she wrote.

Ehrenreich has contributed to The New York Times, The Nation, Vogue, and many other publications, and her other books include The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes in the Decade of Greed, Blood Rituals: The Origin and History of Passion”. War” and “Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class”.

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