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The Rich And The Rest Of Us: A Poverty Manifesto Paperback – April 17, 2012
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According to these authors, so far in the 2012 Presidential campaign, the spoke-persons for neither political party have been able to shape their lips to form the word "poor," or vocalize the word "poverty."
Smiley and West, the "last-standing" champions of the poor, are "walking their talk," as they "end-run" the "bought-and-paid for," impotent and purposefully dysfunctional American political process. They go straight to the doorsteps of the people on the frontlines of the strategically engineered Wall Street war against them called the Wall Street meltdown and also euphemistically referred to as our new globalized economy. From their vantage point, the shock and trauma to what used to be called the "middle-class" (but is now version 2.0 of the poor) is incalulatable!
In this short but tightly written book, this fearsome-twosome share with us what they have learned as they listened to the poor, took careful notes, and then used this book as a way to get the poor's message out. And what they discovered is both shocking and disheartening: that there is a new kind of poverty "out there." It is version 2.Read more ›
The book's website declares "by placing the eradication of poverty in the context of the nation's greatest moments of social transformation--the abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage, and the labor and civil rights movements--ending poverty is sure to emerge as the defining civil rights struggle of America's 21st century ." Stephen Colbert, predictably, had a critical perspective, which he shared with the authors when they were guess on his show. ""The Rich and the Rest of Us:" that is class warfare... I believe there is one America! One America, sir, that the richest 1% just happens to own 42% of." (originally posted at left eye on books org)
I know he has written numerous best-selling books, but I was never sure which one I should start with. I finally saw The Rich and the Rest of Us written by Cornel West and media personality Tavis Smiley. Fighting for the poor is one of the pillars of West's philosophy and I was eager to read this work and see how he approaches the subject.
As much as I wanted to like this book, I just cannot give it my (worthless) stamp of approval. My major criticism is inconsistency. At one moment the authors are talking about rebuilding America to the great country that it once was, but then quickly turn around and discuss the atrocities of America's past including genocide of Native Americans, enslavement of Africans, and abuse of child labor. It is difficult to push America as a beacon of hope when it has such an ugly past.
I do appreciate that West and Smiley remain apolitical in their argument, in that they blame both democrats and republicans for this problems at hand. They would be the first admit that there is absolutely no communist or socialist in the White House right now.
I really didn't get a lot of answers from this book, nor did I feel like I got a lot of good questions. The only solutions I deduced: we need to make it illegal for companies to make a lot of money and being rich is wrong. I don't think those are reasonable solutions.
Here is the best quote from the book.
"How can we take comfort in the phrase `One Nation Under God' when we ignore the examples of compassion dictated by Christ?"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So far this book is great, I'm only through a third. Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are spot on !Published 4 months ago by JoElla Lewis
The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto gives us a historical tour of the impoverished in the United States, exploring the hard truth about capitalism, social injustices,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Wendy Stein
although sometimes the writing seems to reiterate points, this is a very good read.
A very noble attemp to sensitize an issue and concept of what of poverty is... Read more
This book concisely examines the struggles of the poor, along with the near poor, and explains the underlying causes behind poverty in America and how it negatively affects our... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Imperius Rex
In their book , they state they wish to create that dialogue about poverty and how to reduce, if not prevent. Read morePublished 8 months ago by rob rinkes
Poverty has been humankind' s basic state for thousands of years. Unfortunately it remains with us here in the USA today. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Douglas Joslin