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Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States Paperback – October 5, 2006


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Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States + At Home on the Street: People, Poverty, and a Hidden Culture of Homelessness + Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: upalaPress; 1st edition (October 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929565208
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929565207
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pat LaMarche is an educator, journalist and broadcaster who has successfully managed business and charitable organizations and is well known for her innovative approach to public service. Pat has written and broadcast from locales around the world. Pat has leveraged her popularity as radio personality Genny Judge to help provide food, heating oil and medical treatment for many of her fellow Mainers, as well as support for the Maine National Guard and September 11 relief crews. In 1998, Pat ran for Governor of Maine and in 2004 she was honored to serve as the Green Party s Vice Presidential candidate. A graduate of Bangor s John Baptist High School and Boston College, Pat also pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Amsterdam.

More About the Author

Pat LaMarche is an educator, journalist and broadcaster who has successfully managed business and charitable organizations and is well known for her innovative approach to public service. Pat has written and broadcast from locales around the world. Pat has leveraged her popularity as radio personality Genny Judge to help provide food, heating oil and medical treatment for many of her fellow Mainers, as well as support for the Maine National Guard and September 11 relief crews. In 1998, Pat ran for Governor of Maine and in 2004 she was honored to serve as the Green Party s Vice Presidential candidate. A graduate of Bangor s John Baptist High School and Boston College, Pat also pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
All of them are trying to make the best they can of a desperate situation.
B. Plato
Every nation will have its pitfalls, but it is the way that the nation chooses to act in response to them that defines the character of the nation.
perryb
This book will open your eyes and give you a new understanding of the struggle to survive that many people experience on a daily basis.
m.hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Philip Nash on November 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
How many times have you seen a homeless person sleeping on a park bench or shivering in the cold on a windy night and asked yourself why they just don't go to the local homeless shelter?

The answer to that question and many more is found in this concise and powerful book, "Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States" by broadcaster and journalist Pat LaMarche. The vignettes found in these 37 short chapters are so arresting that you will read it in one sitting. And then read it again. The pictures of life on the edge that LaMarche paints with her words will stay in your mind forever - and compel you to act.

LaMarche combines the first person reporting skills of a Barbara Ehrenreich with the power of our best short story writers. After years of researching, writing, and volunteering in homeless shelters as an outgrowth of her concern for children and the poor, she decided to go on a 14-day trip to 14 homeless shelters across America. With the precision of a haiku, each shelter and its residents is brought to life. Without undue sentimentality or harsh moralism, she relates the stories of domestic violence, health crises, and unfortunate decisions that have brought so many of our neighbors to the brink.

You will never forget the 4-year-old who drew life-like pictures of her mommy, baby sister and herself, and then, in a child's recognition of the futility of her existence in a shelter, crossed out the faces of each person. Or the elderly woman who lashed out at anyone who tried to help her make her bed, her teeth bared at those trying to help but not understanding how her dignity and self-image were represented by the folded sheets on her rickety cot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Plato on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
...and make you weep...and make you wonder. The United States of America is the most powerful nation in the world. Yet we are unable to resolve the growing problem of homelessness in our own land.

Pat LaMarche tells the stories of many homeless Americans during her 14-day journey through homeless shelters around the country. The stories of these unfortunate souls are different yet there are themes that seem to appear throughout the miles. Many of these people have jobs but still cannot afford rent. Some are running from abuse. All of them are trying to make the best they can of a desperate situation.

I was angered by the fact that children had to walk to their old bus stops to create the illusion that nothing was wrong, lest they be teased and/or beaten by the other students. All of these folks try to maintain a sense of normalcy in a completely abnormal situation.

I applaud Pat for undertaking this sojourn. For unlike most people running for office, she did it to call attention to the homeless situation in America as opposed to drawing attention to herself or her party. I do not believe that Pat wants to be vice president, or governor, or senator. No, I believe that she wants to serve the public at the highest level at which she can affect change. Whether it be as an elected official, an author, a speaker or a server on a foodline at the local homeless shelter. This book is a public service. It serves to open the eyes of the fortunate to the plight of the less than fortunate. Let's hope it moves them to action...from the shelters in the streets all the way up to Pennsylvania Avenue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc A. Widershien on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I can only say that this book should be on the New York Times Bestseller list. In plain but articulate speech, the author takes us into the underworld of the working poor and dispossessed. It inspires me with anger toward those who want the system to stay at the status quo. As William Blake, the prophetic English poet wrote, (and I paraphrase) "You can't make someone rich without making someone poor." This is a nation that on the surface tortures people for no apparent reason. But the reason is simple: They must instill in every citizen a nameless fear (such as "terrorism") to keep the hammer of power. Ms. LaMarche's book is an indictment, and we must pay attention to that before all of our freedoms disappear into the dark abyss of a nightmarish existence in the land of the "free."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Atkeison on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is much more than a book about homelssness- it is a book about our fellow Americans who are struggling to live with dignity, or perhaps just to live at all.

You will learn a lot about conditions in the shelters and how many of the characters have jobs but don't make enough money to make the rent. But the main value of the book emerges in the stories of the people who will teach you things about life that you might never have known.

Full disclosure: I am a Green Party activist who has known and supported Pat LaMarche when she was the GP candidate for Vice President and Governor. There are political policies I will disagree with Pat about, but I will always admire and support those like her who give so much of their own hearts for people and the social movements that will make our world a much better place.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A quick read that opened my eyes to the fact that our small town, that continues to close its eyes to the homeless and the issues they face, is not the only place with this attitude. And the homeless problem has increased enormously since the author made her trip.
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