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Fb2 Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream ePub

by Adam Shepard

Category: Sociology
Subcategory: Political books
Author: Adam Shepard
ISBN: 0979692601
ISBN13: 978-0979692604
Language: English
Publisher: SB Press; 1 edition (November 30, 2007)
Pages: 240
Fb2 eBook: 1225 kb
ePub eBook: 1745 kb
Digital formats: mobi txt docx lrf

I bought this book when I was homeless for the 3rd time in my life and it was 1 of the things that gave me the tenacity to make it through that repeat difficult and scary time again.

His story will not only inspire readers but will also remind them that success can come to anyone who is willing to work hard-and that America is still one of the most hopeful countries in the world. I bought this book when I was homeless for the 3rd time in my life and it was 1 of the things that gave me the tenacity to make it through that repeat difficult and scary time again. This book is inspiring honest, daring, ballsy and enlightening and I am grateful to have the pleasure of still having it. It's still in great condition even though I bought it used.

Adam Shepard graduated from college in the summer of 2006 feeling disillusioned by the apathy he saw around him . Shepard's plan was simple.

Adam Shepard graduated from college in the summer of 2006 feeling disillusioned by the apathy he saw around him and incensed after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's famous works Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch-books that gave him a feeling of hopelessness over the state of the working class in America.

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It was conceived as a refutation of the books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich. While Shepard states that his story is not politically motivated, he did intend it to be a rebuttal to Barbara Ehrenreich's books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch on a socio-economic level.

He set out to disprove Ehrenreich's theory-the notion that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom-by making something out of nothing to achieve the American Dream.

Fine in Fine DJ. The author graduated from college in 2006 and set out to prove wrong the theory that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom, and to see if the American Dream can still be a reality ISBN. The author graduated from college in 2006 and set out to prove wrong the theory that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom, and to see if the American Dream can still be a reality ISBN: 9780061714368 (Poverty, Working Poor, Social Mobility). Other Products from hartmannbooks (View All). International Tensions And Security Organizations. Air Science 1, Volume IV. hartmannbooks.

Adam Shepard has written an interesting, engaging tale of his time pursuing the American dream in Charleston, South . Adam is a young kid right out of college and he dares to see if the American Dream is still attainable

Adam Shepard has written an interesting, engaging tale of his time pursuing the American dream in Charleston, South Carolina. His experiment was to determine whether the American dream was really dead, so he left home with almost nothing, and set out to see if a person can make it on will & optimism alone. What is cool about the book is that Shepard tells it in his own, conversational voice, rather than trying to turn it into a work of grande literature. Adam is a young kid right out of college and he dares to see if the American Dream is still attainable.

Is the American Dream still alive or has it, in fact, been drowned out by a clashing of the classes? Is the upper class destined to rule forever while the lower classes are forced to live in the same cyclical misery? Millions of Americans fight for the answers to these questions every day, and here, in Scratch Beginnings, one man makes the attempt at discovering the answers for himself. Carrying only a sleeping bag, $25, and the clothes on his back, and restricted from using his contacts or his education, Adam Shepard sets out for a randomly selected city with one goal on his mind: work his way out of the realities of homelessness and into a life that will offer him the opportunity for success. Scratch Beginnings is Shepard's response to the now-famous books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, where Barbara Ehrenreich has written on the hopeless pursuit of the American Dream. This book offers his observation of what it is like for so many people on the lower end of the spectrum, the blunt end of the stick. In this poignant account, Shepard goes on a search for the vitality of the American Dream, and, in turn, discovers so much more. Scratch Beginnings is unquestionably one of the most engaging works of the social science genre. No matter your reading interest, Shepard's facile writing style is sure to keep you turning the pages.
Comments to eBook Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
kolos
Great read. Immensely relevant message. Life can and will suk at times but ultimately what counts is what you choose to do when the crap hits the fan. I’ve read reviews that downplay this book because the author is white. After reading it however, I can’t really say such critiques are really justified. We can speculate that his experience would be different if his background, race, age or sex or chosen location were different, but again in reading it…it’s unnecessary nit picking. The meat and potatoes of the message would apply regardless of any of these factors and it’s a sound constructive message many could stand to hear. I’m a black guy, grew up in the streets of NY and can relate to a lot of the ordeals, mindsets, traps and hard way of learning covered in this book. I can also attest to the vindicating benefits a good “Ish happens, get over it, and keep it moving” mindset can bring.

Trying not to be too wordy, but the book is entertaining and flows really well. A few scenarios had me literally cracking up laughing. Kudos to this Raleigh author.
Lightwind
I'm a slow reader. It took me a year to finish reading this book, but that's notwithstanding. I bought this book when I was homeless for the 3rd time in my life and it was 1 of the things that gave me the tenacity to make it through that repeat difficult and scary time again. This book is inspiring honest, daring, ballsy and enlightening and I am grateful to have the pleasure of still having it. It's still in great condition even though I bought it used. I would recommend this book to anybody and I have recommended it to a lot of people. Adam Shepard, thank you for your bravery your openness and your honesty. Keep up the good work brother.
Clonanau
...Therefore, 4 stars.

I like what the author did. I think it's a step in the right direction. Yes, the parameters of his experiment are not perfect, but he fully admits all the limitations.

(Kindle location 3493): "For starters, I realized that we are the product of our surroundings." That is why he concedes: "Now, more than ever, I understand that that things could have been much different for me in my life. I was lucky." (location 3497). There was another reviewer that criticized the fact that the author didn't even go very far from home to do his experiment. But the author explains why: his parents' poor health means he needed to stay close in case there was a medical emergency, which did in fact occur. He also recognizes: "Can you imagine the results if I had done my project anywhere else in the world?"

I found myself laughing out loud at some parts. The description of how the guys at the homeless shelter watches the show "Cops" comes to mind. That and Sergeant Mendoza checking himself out of the hospital "Armageddon style." I cheered inwardly when he told off the lady at the baby clothes store and when a fellow shelter resident critiqued the other guys' job-searching strategy ("How do you think this works? Employers call the number you put on that application and when Harold answers 'Crisis Ministries' they just get real excited that they get to hire a homeless dude? S*** man, y'all some dumb muthas.") And I was intrigued by tidbits of information like, lunch being the best meal of the day at the shelter because it has the most variety; there's free newspaper on the bus in the mornings; they buy bootleg DVDs to supplement the disappointing TV channel selection.

So I did enjoy the book, and no doubt the author powered through his 10-month experiment with better spirits and determination than what a lot of other people might have had. But the constant interjections of relentlessly peppy "I can do it, you can too!!!" did get quite cloying after a while.

Because here's the main problem I see and please, those who have been there, correct me if I'm wrong. The author says people need to stop blaming others for their problems (my parents never taught me any better; I keep getting crazy and unreasonable bosses and that's why I can't hold down a job; etc), and start taking control of what they CAN control. I don't disagree with this.

However, I think the main difference is not that the author has a lot of superhuman willpower and poor people don't. The main difference is that the author ALWAYS KNEW HIS SITUATION IS TEMPORARY, no matter what he did. And poor people usually don't and can't know that. I think a lot of the time, when something is all you've known, whether it's poverty or wealth, you become blind to everything else and think this state is permanent. I've never been poor, but the best personal analogy I can think of is when I first came to this country and didn't speak a word of English. The first few months were tough, because it felt like I could NEVER learn the language. No matter how many vocabulary words I memorized, I still didn't understand 2 out of every 10 words anyone said. Now, intellectually I did know that eventually I would become fluent, and knowing that has helped a lot in terms of ginning up the motivation to reach for that English-Chinese dictionary yet again. But when it felt like English was simply impossible to learn? Yeah my motivation and drive were in the toilet.

Hope matters. An end in sight and light at the end of the tunnel matter. I'm glad the author didn't just sit on his middle-class couch and do nothing. I also believe that he did learn a lot of good things from his experience and there are a lot of good things to be learned from his experience. But his method is not going to work for other people without changing their outlook first.
Goltigor
I serendipitously found a very suitable children's book by reading this book. (For the record, a good "children's book" to me is not like most of what I screen-- overwrought with anguish, or with children that have the dialogues/ relationships of 40 year olds.) At a minimum, this book can teach a good lesson to my kids. (Oddly enough, the book that I think of that teaches something similar/ goes with this would be Linda Sue Park's A Single Shard.)

What are the lessons that are useful to teach my children from this book?

1. Be careful of whom you pick as a roommate;
2. The world does not owe you anything, and if you see enough down on their luck people, then you can learn their lesson by observation rather than experience;
3. There are opportunities for you to get ahead if you make them yourself and show your interest;
4. Schools may have eliminated standards and winners and losers, but life has not. And if you can't get it right (in whatever way, for whatever reason), then you will have to live with the consequences. The evidence is hidden in plain sight;
5. The places where there are down-on-their-luck people will be heavily black;
6. You can go somewhere and be a king among losers by simply being marginally competent. (What is that expression? "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king"?);
7. Just because you go to college does not mean that you'll get a great job straight out of the box; If you finish a degree in something worthless, it will be as if you never went to college.
8. Working to your level of capacity can bring out the best in you. (That is what this young man learned. Because he had to give all of his effort, he did things that he knew that he couldn't.)

A few thing that I noticed by reading this book:

1. The author came across as (how to say?) a bit wiggerish/ nebbish? (How many white people's speech turns into black people's speech within a few weeks of living around them?)
2. It appears that the places that he went to live among the down and out people were mostly black. (The author's use of written-as-spoken dialogue made the race of the people that he was depicting very clear.)
3. Adam Shepard is a Man of Action (he set out to do something with the minimum amount of talking and he did it), and he reminds me very much of Eric Hoffer in that his life's lesson about people were actually gained as a result of working with REAL PEOPLE. (For a more eloquent example of what Hoffer has written, see Working and Thinking on the Waterfront.) In that sense, this author reminds me of a third-rate Eric Hoffer. That said, the final chapter ("A Didactic Look At What I Learned And Where Do I Go From Here") is as fine in content (if not in prose execution) as much of what Eric Hoffer has written.

Verdict: Worth the time. Worth the price.
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