From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Abramsky (Hard Times Blues
) combines an account of his own seven-week experiment in living on a poverty budget with moving vignettes of men and women who have fallen through society's frayed safety net and are suffering from food insecurity. Tens of millions of Americans live in a continual state of anxiety; to malnutrition is added the further suffering of shame and despair. Focusing on communities in Western states, the author uncovers the tragedy of the collapse of the middle class. Unionized industrial giants like General Motors have fallen on hard times and global economic restructuring has had a devastating impact on many workers, often stripping them of benefits accumulated over decades. Although providing a vivid glimpse into the world of food banks and soup kitchens, the book, which reads like a series of newspaper articles, offers few suggestions for solving the problem aside from challenging political leaders to make corrections to a system gone tragically awry. (June)
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"Abramsky writes in the best tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich, Studs Terkel, and John Steinbeck. The fruit of his patient and compassionate research, Breadline USA, is required reading for all of us concerned to banish, forever, the long hidden legacy of hunger in America." -- Raj Patel "Author of Stuffed and Starved"