National Consumers League

Trumpeter Honoree: Barbara Ehrenreich


Did you know that Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of more than a dozen books on a variety of social issues, was a chemistry major at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon? The daughter of a miner in Butte, Montana, Barbara got into grad school at Rockefeller University with the intention of studying theoretical physics. She bounced around, switching to molecular biology, and, later, cell biology, which she got her PhD in. According to an "About Barbara" page written by the author at her Web site, it was the anti-Vietnam war movement that made her realize that she wasn't made for a life of laboratory work after all. She joined a New York-based nonprofit org, where she got involved in investigative journalism, and the rest is history - an amazing biographical history of Barbara's transition to author and activist. Today, she is the author of 14 books Tomorrow night, the National Consumers League will honor Barbara with its highest honor, the Trumpeter Award, for her career of service to consumers and workers. Barbara has lifted the voice of workers' concerns with years of activism on health care, peace, women’s rights, and economic justice, and we are thrilled to honor her tomorrow night. Her 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed, is an examination of working-class poverty, following her own attempt to live on minimum wage, and it is now required reading at more than 600 colleges and universities. For those of you who can't join us, we'll take pictures! And check back tomorrow to learn more about Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and why we're honoring him this year as well.