Author Adam Shepard Undertakes Journey to Chronicle an 'Average Joe's' Search for the American Dream

 RALEIGH, N.C./PRNewswire/ -- Is the American Dream still
alive? Can working stiffs or members of society who are experiencing
homelessness attain better lives? Those are the questions that college
graduate Adam Shepard tackled by moving to an unfamiliar city with only $25
in his pocket and just the clothes he was wearing. His book "Scratch
Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream" reports on his
yearlong odyssey.
(Book cover: )
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 writes,
"Ehrenreich attempted to establish that working stiffs are doomed to live
in the same disgraceful conditions forever ... my story is a search to
evaluate if hard work and discipline provide any payoff whatsoever or if
they are, as Ehrenreich suggests, futile pursuits."
Shepard's goal was to overcome his adverse circumstances and obtain
$2,500, an operable car and a furnished apartment, all within one year.
However, he resolved not to use his college education, credit history or
any of his previous contacts to help himself. Additionally, he would not
beg for money or use services that were not available to others.
"Scratch Beginnings" (SB Press, November 2007, $13.95) recounts the
people, opportunities and setbacks Shepard encountered. Along the way, he
exploded myths and stereotypes about homeless people, discovered what it is
like to live in a homeless shelter and formulated some controversial
premises, such as:
-- Why the book "Nickel and Dimed" was flawed from the beginning.
-- Why raising the minimum wage does not stimulate the economy of the
lower class.
-- Why immigration and job outsourcing are not the causes of decreasing
opportunity in the American workforce.
-- How certain individuals are profiting from the consumer's fear of the
death of the American Dream.
Shepard also draws some unexpected conclusions about rectifying the
cycle of poverty. And although he experienced a number of twists and turns
along the way, he declares, "The American Dream is very much alive ... and
it will never die."
For more information or to purchase the book, visit
Author Bio:
Adam Shepard is a 2006 graduate of Merrimack College in North Andover,
MA where he majored in Business Management and Spanish. Serving as a
resident advisor during his upperclassmen years, he began to take
particular interest in the social issues of our nation. Shortly after
graduation - with almost literally $25 to his name - Shepard departed his
home state for Charleston, SC, embarking on the journey that has now become
"Scratch Beginnings."
"Scratch Beginnings" is Shepard's first work. He presently resides in
Raleigh, North Carolina.
About the Book:
Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
By Adam Shepard
Published by SB Press
Release: November 2007
(ISBN-10) 0979692601
(ISBN-13) 978-0979692604
Price: $13.95

Kim Guarino