Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich (2005) highlights the people who’ve done everything right — gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés — yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today’s ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their “surplus” employees — plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers — and little security even for those who have jobs.
In What on Earth Have I Done? (2007), Robert Fulghum writes about traveling the world — from Seattle to the Moab Desert to Crete — looking for a few fellow travelers interested in thinking along with him as he delights in the unexpected: trick-or-treating with your grandchildren dressed like a large rabbit, pots of daffodils blooming in mid-November, a view of the earth from outer space, the mysterious night sounds of the desert, every man's trip to a department store to buy socks, the raucous all-night long feast that is Easter in Greece, the trials and tribulations of plumbing problems, and the friendship one can strike up with someone who doesn't share the same language.
In The Great Awakening (2008), Jim Wallis takes a look at what it will take to solve the issues of extreme and needless poverty, global warming,environmental degradation, terrorism and the endless cycle of violence, racism, human trafficking, health care and education, and other pressing problems. He shows us that a revival is happening as people of faith and moral conviction seek common ground for change. He reminds us that religious faith was a driving force behind national reforms such as the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement. "Great awakenings" happen periodically at crucial times to propel us toward the common good. The time is ripe for another transformation.
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