Thanks for this article! I came from a middle-class family, but spent ten years as a merchant seaman to pay for my college. I wound up getting an English Ph.D. and teaching college English as an adjunct for 18 years, but decided that endless low-paid adjuncting with no benefits or job security was not for me. Now I write full-time for a weekly trade journal that covers the barge industry. Who knew that my merchant marine experience would have more to do with my career security than my two advanced degrees?
This article also reminded me of this 2010 book: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Collar-Journal-College-Presidents-Sabbatical/dp/0397010303