Books: Class Act

THE WORST YEARS OF OUR LIVES: IRREVERENT NOTES FROM A DECADE OF GREED by Barbara Ehrenreich

Pantheon; 275 pages; $19.95

Wrap socialism, feminism and environmentalism into one person's sensibility, and what you're likely to get is a lousy dinner guest -- someone who will find alienation in a Johnny Carson monologue, pesticides in an arugula salad and phallic symbols in the latest James Bond movie. But in contrast to some of the solemn ideologues who share her causes, Barbara Ehrenreich is a leftist with levity, so don't get discouraged about the title of this provocative new collection of essays.

Unlike those...

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