Barbara Ehrenreich: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Barbara Ehrenreich

Political Activist & Author, Nickel and Dimed

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 21 books, including The New York Times best sellers, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2001) and Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America (2010). Ehrenreich’s latest release, Living with a Wild God (2014) is a brave and honest memoir unlike anything she’s written before. In it, she reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman’s wry and erudite perspective to a young girl’s impassioned obsession with the questions that torment us all. The result is a searing memoir and a profound reflection on science, religion, and the human condition.

Each of Ehrenreich’s books changed her life in important and unexpected ways. Nickel and Dimed plunged her into the nascent living wage movement, traveling to union rallies, picket lines and organizing meetings around the country. She became comfortable addressing crowds through a bull horn, with no notes at all, got arrested at a protest with Yale workers, joined picket lines with hotel workers in Santa Monica and janitors in Miami, leafleted for a living wage in Charlottesville and marched with ACORN in Michigan.

Curiosity continues to pull Ehrenreich in different directions. She published Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, a scholarly book about festivities and ecstatic rituals. Her New York Times best seller, Bright-Sided, describes what she calls “the cult of cheerfulness,” which requires Americans to “think positively” rather than to take positive action for change. An urgent call for a new commitment to realism, Bright-Sided was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “bright, incisive, provocative thinking from a top-notch nonfiction writer,” and author Christopher Hitchens proclaimed, “Ehrenreich scores again for the independent-minded.” Ehrenreich is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Harpers, The Progressive magazine, and Time magazine, and has appeared on Oprah, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Joy Behar Show, to name a few.

At the podium, Barbara Ehrenreich reflects with biting humor on her journey as a writer and activist, taking audiences inside her Nickel and Dimed experience and sharing anecdotes and lessons learned from each of her powerful books. Audiences will be brought to their feet by Ehrenreich’s deep rooted passion, profound ability to spur discussion, and her signature sense of humor that audiences have come to expect. Acknowledging that though she may have found more stability and financial security in science or teaching, Ehrenreich imparts audiences with the message that her work has been the adventure of a lifetime and one that she has never regretted. Living proof of the power of chasing your dream and doing what you love, audiences will leave unequivocally inspired to embark on their own adventures.

Interested in booking Barbara Ehrenreich to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • An Evening with Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  • Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America

Your name: Your e-mail: