- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Nation Books; 1 edition (September 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1568587260
- ISBN-13: 978-1568587264
- Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives 1st Edition
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Not since the Great Depression have so many Americans been counted among the poor. Freelance reporter Abramsky explores poverty in America 50 years after Michael Harrington’s groundbreaking book, The Other America. Abramsky offers historical perspective, detailing how poverty as well as social attitudes and public policy regarding poverty have changed. He points to the antitax policies of conservatives that have contributed to growing income inequality in the U.S. and growing concerns most evident in the Occupy movement and protest for the 99 percent versus the 1 percent. From Appalachia to Hawaii, from inner cities to rural areas, from families suffering intergenerational poverty to victims of the recent housing crisis, Abramsky’s portraits of the poor illustrate three striking points: the isolation, diversity—people with no jobs and people with multiple jobs—and resilience of the poor. Drawing on ideas from a broad array of equality advocates, Abramsky offers detailed policies to address poverty, including reform in education, immigration, energy, taxation, criminal justice, housing, Social Security, and Medicaid, as well as analysis of tax and spending policies that could reduce inequities. --Vanessa Bush
[This] portrait of poverty is one of great complexity and diversity, existential loneliness and desperationbut also amazing resilience
Abramsky's well-researched, deeply felt depiction of poverty is eye-opening, and his outrage is palpable. He aims to stimulate discussion, but whether his message provokes action remains to be seen.”
"Abramsky's portraits of the poor illustrate three striking points: the isolation, diversity-people with no jobs and people with multiple jobs-and resilience of the poor. Drawing on ideas from a broad array of equality advocates, Abramsky offers detailed policies to address poverty, including reform in education, immigration, energy, taxation, criminal justice, housing, Social Security, and Medicaid, as well as analysis of tax and spending policies that could reduce inequities."
"Sasha Abramsky takes us deep into the long dark night of poverty in America, and it's a harrowing trip. His research and remarkable insights have resulted in a book that is stunning in its intensity."
Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and former Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times
"Incisive and necessary, The American Way of Poverty is a call to action."
Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright
David Shipler, New York Times Book Review
"[An] extraordinary book... extremely well researched and thorough..."
Los Angeles Review of Books
"Abramsky's approach is both heartbreaking in its look at the humans who are affected and inspiring in his explanations of how poverty can be addressed and improved... The American Way of Poverty is likely to cause fear--almost no one is exempt from unplanned disasters--but it is also likely to motivate: there are answers; this country can and should improve. Well researched and documented, Abramsky's eye-opening book should be required reading for all U.S. citizens."
"[A] searing exposé... Abramsky's is a challenging indictment of an economy in which poverty and inequality at the bottom seem like the foundation for prosperity at the top."
Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
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Top customer reviews
Mr. Ambramsky without a doubt has identified the extent of poverty in the current conditions in the United States today. He has well documented this case in current pockets of poverty. As a current member of a board in my community that is working to provide affordable housing for extreme low income and the working poor in my community, I can see where his analysis and the conditions he sites exist in my community.
I worked in the Civil Rights movement on the issues of poverty, access to jobs with livable wages and quality education. During the "war poverty" there were exceses by poverty pimps who feathered their own nests at the expense of the masses of folks. However, on the whole a lot of people were able to see their standard of living increase, kids could gain access to higher education and infant mortality rates drop -- particularly in the South -- where there is still the "Shadow of the Plantation".
Most of the advanced capitalist countries either subsidize education for their nationals, or have waivers for those who work in programs in the national interests. In the US, our kids come out of college with so much debt that they are forced to try to acquire the most highest paying jobs to retire their student loans (eg. a doctor has to decide to do tummy tucks and nose bobs as opposed to basic scientific research to improve the status of preventive medicine.
Our MBAs are running to Wall Street where they transfer money as opposed to building sustainable businesses. Human beings are treated as commodities (ie. what have you done for me Today, as opposed to retraining them for the 21st Century jobs.
Some of the proposals Mr. Ambramsky advocates can help raise the poor into the "middle class" over a period of decades. However, there is no political will in Congress to take this up. In fact, the US is losing a lot of its institutional knowledge in Congress due to the fact that a lot of members are retiring because they cannot get any thing done in this dysfunctional environment.
The future is still bright. The Millenilals and Gen Y kids are rising to the challenge. They do not have the super pacs deniro, but they are making their voices heard. To paraphrase the late Sam Cooke, "change is going to come".