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

Scratch Beginnings Me and the Search for the American Dream Carrying only a sleeping bag 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 wor

  • Title: Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
  • Author: Adam Shepard
  • ISBN: 9780979692604
  • Page: 104
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 boCarrying 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 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.

    • Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream >> Adam Shepard
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      Published :2019-03-11T19:51:21+00:00


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    831 thoughts on “Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream

    • Pretend you never went to schoolBut still you'll never get it right'cos when you're laid in bed at nightwatching roaches climb the wallif you called your dad he could stop it all yeahYou'll never live like common peopleYou'll never do whatever common people doYou'll never fail like common peopleYou'll never watch your life slide out of viewand then dance and drink and screwbecause there's nothing else to do~Common People PULPI'll preface my opinions by stating that I believe wholeheartedly in th [...]


    • Right upfront, this book is poorly written by an arrogant young white male just barely out of college. As a "rebuttal" (and I use that loosely, considering the authors lack of writing skills) to Nickel and Dimed, the book fails miserably. The author starts out with $25 and proceeds to milk the system for a year until he "pulls himself up by the bootstraps" and ends up with $2,500, an apartment, and a run-down truck. Along the way he remarks that all the other poor slubs he meets should be able t [...]


    • This book resonated with me as my family firmly believes in the "American Dream". To start out with nothing, then work your way up to a house, car, to be able to afford children then ultimately the ability to give them opportunities that you never had yourself. After reading other peoples reviews I had to say, at least Adam Shepard had the guts to go out and live in homeless shelters and to experience poverty on the ground level. All the personal criticisms that other reviewers gave (too white, [...]


    • Pretentious drivvel. Making your way through life, starting from 'nothing' might be an interesting excercise, but not legit when you start with an ivy league education, excellent health care your entire life, and an escape to mommy with a quick phone call.This guy is a joke and only slaps himself on the back and reinforces the idea that anyone in any situation and background can get ahead. - I'm not convinced that's so.


    • I'm giving this book a 5 star rating not because it's elegantly written, or that the story is so gripping I couldn't put it down. On the contrary, I read it piece-meal over the course of 3 weeks. This book deserves a 5 because I REALLY liked the guts and determination this guy showed. I scoff at you reviewers that gave him a 1 star because of gems like this: "Thank you for telling me that a single, white, college educated (even if you don't put it on your resume) male, who is heterosexual, and [...]


    • "Gee whiz everybody! If I just try my hardest, and never give up, I can be anything! All I need is a can-do attitude!" That's the tone of this entire book.I read this book after reading Nickel and Dimed, since it is supposedly a rebuttal to that book, and Ehrenrich even mentions it in her afterword. It is not, in any way, a rebuttal to Nickel and Dimed. There is nothing in Scratch Beginnings that resembles journalism, sociology, research, or anything of the sort. It is a memoir of a naive, conce [...]


    • Not the Nickel & Dimed rebuttal I was hoping for. This young man is a go-getter, but his book, his approach and his viewpoints are so much of what is expected from a young, healthy white male, fresh out of college with a loving, supportive family at home. He has concern for those in more dire situations, but his expectations of them to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps is not realistic. Also his expectation of those more fortunate to make sacrifices for those less fortunate so that [...]


    • The best part about this book was its premise . . . what if all you had to your name was $25.00 and the clothes on your back? Could you survive? Thrive? Work your way up and achieve the American Dream? Adam Shepard decided to try it and wrote this book about his experiences.Unfortunately, his experiences just weren't all that interesting. He does a good job describing what life was like in a homeless shelter, and starting at the very bottom of the workforce as a day laborer. He takes you with hi [...]


    • I don't recommend this. It's a quick read, but the author didn't put a lot of thought into his experiment (and I disagree that this makes him "unbiased," as he claims). He is described on the back as "earnest," and I think that's a nice way of explaining that he seriously overuses the exclamation point. Every chapter ends with basically the same thing: Now I'm on the road to success, because I have the right attitude (unlike the working poor)! Not a fan.


    • This is the douchebag’s Nickel and Dimed. Recent college grad—who completely missed the lessons of Ehrenreich’s experiment in low wage work—decides he’s going to “prove” the “American dream” is still possible by starting with $25 and pulling himself up by his bootstaps in Charleston, SC. He lives in a homeless shelter for a few months while taking some hard, dirty jobs. Soon, he’s employed—with interesting tidbits about the daily lives of movers—and has settled into an ap [...]


    • In the interests of full disclosure, Adam sent me a copy of his book when he saw it was on my to read/wishlist. I really enjoyed it. The pacing and style were good, and he has a real ear for dialogue. Definitely laugh-out-loud funny in a few places. All but the last chapter is a straight up narrative of his experience, so it's engrossing. It's pitched as a contrast toNickel and Dimed, which I read several years ago and was interesting in terms of her experience but not so much the conclusions, w [...]


    • Adam Shepard is, in my opinion, not too different from what I call “Nomadic Trustafarians.” Picture this, young rich brats, usually just out of college (as Shepard) from areas of socio-economic deprivation like Lincoln and Duxbury, MA; most of Fairfield County, CT; Scarsdale and Great Neck, NY; Alpine and Summit, NJ; the “Main Line” near Philly, etc.These rich, college educated, but very naive people temporarily “go native” in many third world countries, notably Costa Rica, Ecuador, [...]


    • Kudos to the guy for setting a goal, intentionally strapping on ankle weights, and learning something. But where did he get? Still out there hustling with his hand out for a job from someone else.Even within the premise of the book, I would have liked to have heard more about his inventive budgeting. All we got was 1) don't spend more than 30% of your take-home on housing; 2) eat cheap, unhealthy food; 3) get the transmission checked.All he really had to do was work, eat and sleep. A couple of d [...]


    • Some of the negative reviews for this book are mystifying to me, particularly those loaded with vitriol and contempt. The author is by my lights a well-meaning, well-intentioned young man who is conducting a simple experiment in order to refute the main contention of Nickel and Dimed, namely that it's not really possible to get by on low wages and work your way up. Many who write reviews are pointing out that our hero lacks other obstacles, such as chronic health problems, stupidity, bad educati [...]


    • College-educated, middle class, ablebodied, heterosexual white guy proves to himself that he can start with nothing and end up with something in contemporary America.Which as you may have guessed, does not mean to me that EVERYONE could, or even MOST PEOPLE could.He picks a random city in the south, puts 25$ in his pocket, and decides to challenge himself. In a year, can he have his own place to live, a car, and something like 2K in his bank account. He says he won't rely on his family and other [...]


    • I read "Nickel and Dimed" while in college and, like the author of "Scratch Beginnings," found it to be very disheartening. This author does one better by starting out in a homeless shelter and trying to work his way to independence. The home point is that the American dream is still possible, but it depends on the determination and initiative of the person seeking it. An interesting read.


    • This book is okay. There are some interesting ideas but it gets boring after a while when the author is just talking about the people he met rather than sharing exactly how he was saving and spending money. Also I didn't like the misguided rant at the end about people showing initiative.


    • This novel is based off of the true story of Adam Shepard finding a way to survive the concrete jungle of Charleston, South Carolina. This all begins with Adam abandoning his drug addicted mother and alcoholic father after realizing that he needs a new way of living and to live alone. With only a start of $25 to his name, he decides to stay at Crisis Ministries, a homeless shelter that gave troubled people aid to live and help get them off their feet as they try to get their lives together. With [...]


    • Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the search for the American Dream Scratch Beginnings follows the adventures of the author, Adam Shepard as he starts from the bottom of the social ladder. Straight out of college, he has his family drop him off at the train station where he rides into the neighboring state. The motivation behind his journey is to see if it really is true that “the people who start at the bottom, stay at the bottom”. He takes only $25 dollars, and the clothes off his back, le [...]


    • There are plenty of criticisms that you can heap on this book. If a young, single, well-educated, healthy, white male with no evident mental illnesses or substance abuse problems can't make his way out of poverty, yes, there is something seriously wrong. However, his privilege has no doubt been addressed elsewhere, and anyway he addresses it in the book. I do think that he would have found things harder had he gone to Philadelphia or New York or Los Angeles--even allowing for several years of in [...]


    • Scratch BeginningsAdam Shepard Scratch Beginnings was a very easy read and a very eye-opening novel. This novel is the story of a young, college graduate who gives up his privileged lifestyle to prove a fellow author’s theory on life wrong. Barbara Ehrenreich’s books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch are both two novels that give society no hope or courage of changing their societal situation, and Adam Shepard wanted to to prove her beliefs false. Adam Shepard started with basically the c [...]


    • I was interested by this book because of the concept, but not necessarily because I thought it an accurate representation of "starting from nothing". There is no way to undo all the experiences of your life, including education (even if you don't state it on your resume). It still, I guess, makes for an interesting "thought exercise". Except that it wasn't merely a thought exercise. I couldn't help wondering the whole time how the case workers and what not felt after they knew it was all just an [...]


    • I read this book as an assignment for a diversity and tolerance class I am taking. It was not my first choice in the line of allowable readings, but my second pick. It is a true story of a man, Adam, who decides to prove to the world that with a little hard work you can achieve the American dream. Adam sets off on a bus to Charlotte, NC and begins his journey. Right away he finds room at a homeless shelter and begins working his way up through the chains of poverty. He makes up a false story to [...]


    • Една книга много ме издразни: /book/show/1И авторът на настоятаща го е издразнила, затова в неин отговор прави собствен експеримент - опитва се да види дали ако почне от нулата, ще успее да се оправи с нормална работа, кола и апартамент за 1 година. И успява, за разлика от дебелата, б [...]


    • At first I found this book to be intriguing, I thought it would be interesting to see what happened to him. He graduated college then with $25 in his pocket he started a project, to prove that you can really, to build him self up from nothing. He did not take his background or credentials with him. his goal was to have a car, an apartment, a job and $2,500 in the bank by the end of the year. he stayed in a homeless shelter for a while, found jobs through them, got medical care through them, food [...]


    • Shepard says he did this experiment and wrote the book as a counterpoint to Barbara Ehrenreich's books about the failure of the American Dream. Well, he did it -- started with $25 and the clothes he was wearing, ended a year later with a pick-up truck, living in a furnished apartment, and having saved over $5,000. It was a brave experiment, and he contends that with the right attitude anyone can do it. Luckily, he acknowledges that many people live without achieving even the basics of the Dream [...]


    • Kent let me borrow his copy of this book. I have good and bad things to say about it. Shepard read Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich, didn't like it and didn't agree, and set out with nothing but $25, the clothes he was wearing, and a goal. He wanted to have a car and a set amount of money in a set amount of time. He does it. And in way under the time limit. He definitely showed it is possible. I applaud him for that. What kept me from liking it more has little or nothin [...]


    • This was not particularly well-written but a very thought-provoking and often funny account of the author's social experiment of starting out with $25 in a new city and seeing if he could accomplish the American Dream. Many reviewers have criticized the author for being a middle-class white boy who could seemingly never understand what others who grow up in poverty experience. While this may be so, I give him great credit for trying to understand the plight of those in poverty going so far as to [...]


    • I heard about this book through an interview with the author on the Get Rich Slowly blog. It sounded interesting and my library didn't have a copy, so I emailed Adam Shepard and he sent me a PDF of the book. How cool is that?The book itself was an excellent read. I mean, it's not an instant classic or anything but if you approach it with the attitude that this guy is conducting a social experiment, it's really fascinating. As I read it I related it to my own life and the luxuries that I have. We [...]


    • Is the American Dream dead? Can someone with only determination still 'make it' in America? Adam Shephard, a 24 year old recent college graduate, decided to test that supposition after reading books in his college sociology course that claimed that the American Dream was dead, that nowdays people born in poverty or driven to poverty by circumstances are destined to stay there.Adam's plan: randomly pick a city in the southeast part of the US and starting with nothing but $25 and the clothes on hi [...]


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