Bait and Switch : The Futile Pursuit of the Corporate Dream, Paperback Book

Bait and Switch : The Futile Pursuit of the Corporate Dream Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Intrigued by reports of increasing poverty and despair within America's white-collar corporate workforce, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to infiltrate their world as an undercover reporter and learn about the problems facing middle-class executives at first hand.

Thinking she had set herself a pretty easy challenge, the author was quite unprepared for what happened next.

Ehrenreich found herself entering a shadowy world of Internet job searches, lonely networking events and costly career-coaching sessions, a world in which 'professional' mentors and trainers offer pop-psychology and self-help mantras to desperate would-be employees.

Her story is an important one - poignant and blackly funny - that delivers a stark warning about the future that faces corporate employees everywhere and calls for collective action to guard against it.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social classes
  • ISBN: 9781862078970



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Some useful insights into the pointlessnes of the job-search/career development industry in the US (and people in the UK will be able to recognise similar symptoms). The author assumes an identity to try and land herself an executive role in PR. And therein lies a fundamental flaw in the project right from the start. She is not really an out-of-work PR executive. She herself is a scam, so that might account for the fact that this doesn't work as an expose or scathing indictment of consultancy and recruitment practices. It is a rather restrained, witty (and beautifully written) account which flags up various idiocies which most people will have encountered in the jobs markets and recruitment practices today. She puts things into perspective but without really biting the bullet, rolling up her sleeves, and getting to grips with her corporate Enemy. If she had gone further it may have had a lot more bite. Perhaps needless to say that suggested alternatives are pretty thin on the ground.

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