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Economic Stress ? Harsh Truths and Keys to Empowerment (2013) is a 13 chapter book that captures the personal stories of people who are facing challenges meeting their financial obligations because of job loss, not enough work, job instability or low wages and the impact this has on their well-being. Using their own words, stories of economic stress are shared in the first four chapters. These include some of the experiences of a civil engineer who wakes up swinging because of the economic stress that he is experiencing, a middle class family that lives paycheck to paycheck, a single mom who is trying to cope with the prospect of being unemployed for the first time in her career, and a highly educated professional who has not been able to find work for more than three years. The remainder of the book identifies strategies that could help a person or a family address economic stress more effectively by exploring issues such as: (1) managing bill collector demands for the mortgage, rent, car note, utilities and credit card payments by being proactive rather than reactive; (2) seeking social support and asking for help; (3) understanding how the job applicant process can work; (4) building relationships rather than networking; (5) knowing how to attract mentors and sponsors to increase the likelihood of finding employment; (6) changing your mindset to make your life better; and (7) entrepreneurship. A major question that is asked in this book is whether or not it may be time to redefine what the American Dream means in the 21st century. Is it home ownership with big salaries, and an abundance of disposable income and tangible items? Is it having a more frugal lifestyle that embraces health, greater peace of mind and autonomy? Or, is it being a part of a loving, strong, supportive family that has the capacity to endure and thrive? Economic Stress ? Harsh Truths and Keys to Empowerment encourages the reader to examine these issues in a way that could help to promote a d