Historical Perspectives Exercise


This historical perspective is for Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreic

Prof. J. Lim
Historical Perspectives Exercise:
In the coming weeks, you will each be responsible for reading the following two books:
• John Hersey, Hiroshima
• Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America
For this written assignment (1,000-1,200 words), provide a detailed, critical analysis that
explains what new perspective(s) the book offers of the history that it addresses.
The deadlines are as follows (via CANVAS by 9:00 AM):
Hersey: Tuesday, March 26
Ehrenreich: Tuesday, April 23
Here is the recommended format for the assignment:
In one-two paragraphs, explain what the book is about and the major point(s) that the
author is trying to convey to his reader.
In another one-two paragraphs, consider the genre of the writing and how that may
shape the way we understand the history that it describes. More specifically, each of
these are a form of journalistic account. Who is writing/producing the account, and
who was the intended audience? What ideas, themes, and/or arguments does the
author wish to emphasize, and how does the author make his/her point(s)?
Lastly, compare the book with the corresponding Cogbooks Module. Explain how the
book enriches and/or complicates the usual historical narratives of that moment, as
represented by the textbook account. Also consider what important histories or voices
have been left out of the book. What biases are reflected by the author’s choice to
include and/or exclude certain actors or events?
Use Times New Roman, 12-font, double-spaced, and 1-inch margins all around. Pay attention
to grammar and style, and provide concrete examples and details from the book and
Cogbooks to strengthen your points and argument. Place citations in the text in parentheses,
like this: (Hersey, 5).
Add the word count at the end of the assignment.