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Think and Act Anew: How Poverty in America Affects Us All and What We Can Do about It Paperback – September 24, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Review

If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, goes the old saying, but if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime. . . . For his reader [Fr. Larry Snyder s book] is a fishing pole of information and action.

What began as a blog to ensure a broad discussion on human development became a book that explores, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI s 2009 encyclical, love in truth. Snyder begins by explaining the pope s message in Veritas in caritate, quoting it throughout the remainder of his book. He then takes us on a journey through structural injustice by engaging in topics such as Defining Poverty, How We Live in Relationship to Each Other, and The New Poor, whom he describes as people we know, our neighbors, or family, or friends, people who never had to ask for help before. He challenges an economic model that puts the profit of shareholders over the sustainability of employees lives.

Snyder then hands us our fishing poles as he explains a need to change our measure of poverty from a body of statistics to the human person. He suggests using a new American Human Development Index that includes health, education, and income to promote a more informed, reasoned debate using objective facts and comparisons. He also highlights model programs such as Step Up Silicon Valley, which aims to cut poverty by increasing awareness, building partnerships, shaping public policy, increasing private and public funding, and integrating services to better meet the needs of the poor.

Snyder sends us out to fish with an appendix full of information to help his reader be the change we wish to see in the world. --U.S. Catholic, March 2011

In a brief book that deals in bitter truths as well as hope, Snyder provides a five-point list of Someone is poor if ... ; adds Maimonides eight levels of giving; and includes a Not All Poor People Are Equal catalog. Equally encouraging are the snapshots of innovative programs from Silicon Valley, where 54 percent of eligible residents don t apply for food stamps; to Harlem Children s Zone, one of the most successful antipoverty programs in the country ; to the Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit.

The basic question before us, writes Snyder, is what kind of society we want to be. But our obligation does not stop there. As people of faith we will not get it right until we acknowledge that everyone is our sister and brother -- even those whose appearance or behavior is unappealing to us.

At this point in the book, which has already chided Wall Street, excerpted papal teaching, and debated the common good and free markets, Snyder is astonishingly close to its end. It is a tightly packed volume that runs through its teaching and exhorting course in only 118 pages.

For Catholics and others, Think and Act Anew is a social justice jewel case containing many gems, not least E.J. Dionne s foreword saying this: A Baptist friend of mine who is a divinity professor tells me that one of her favorite classes every year involves introducing her mostly Protestant students to Catholic social teaching.

Snyder himself provides this telling endnote: As we will it, so shall the future be -- provided we pick up the peeler and prepare the spuds, sign the petitions, get involved in efforts for low-income housing, protest injustice and work for systemic change as if success were immaterial and action for others all-important. --Arthur Jones - National Catholic Reporter

In a brief book that deals in bitter truths as well as hope, Snyder provides a five-point list of Someone is poor if ... ; adds Maimonides eight levels of giving; and includes a Not All Poor People Are Equal catalog. Equally encouraging are the snapshots of innovative programs from Silicon Valley, where 54 percent of eligible residents don t apply for food stamps; to Harlem Children s Zone, one of the most successful antipoverty programs in the country ; to the Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit.

The basic question before us, writes Snyder, is what kind of society we want to be. But our obligation does not stop there. As people of faith we will not get it right until we acknowledge that everyone is our sister and brother -- even those whose appearance or behavior is unappealing to us.

At this point in the book, which has already chided Wall Street, excerpted papal teaching, and debated the common good and free markets, Snyder is astonishingly close to its end. It is a tightly packed volume that runs through its teaching and exhorting course in only 118 pages.

For Catholics and others, Think and Act Anew is a social justice jewel case containing many gems, not least E.J. Dionne s foreword saying this: A Baptist friend of mine who is a divinity professor tells me that one of her favorite classes every year involves introducing her mostly Protestant students to Catholic social teaching.

Snyder himself provides this telling endnote: As we will it, so shall the future be -- provided we pick up the peeler and prepare the spuds, sign the petitions, get involved in efforts for low-income housing, protest injustice and work for systemic change as if success were immaterial and action for others all-important. --Arthur Jones, The National Catholic Reporter

About the Author

Rev. Larry Snyder is president of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and oversees Catholic Charities USA s work to reduce poverty in America. He is a member of the President s Council of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and in 2008 and 2009, The Nonprofit Times recognized Father Snyder in its Power and Influence Top 50 for his influence in the nonprofit sector. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named him to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which oversees the Church's charitable activities around the world. He is also a member of the board of the Catholic Health Association and the Independent Sector, a member of the Domestic Policy Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a trustee of the America s Promise Alliance. He is a weekend associate at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (September 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570759049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570759048
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By tcm on October 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good points are made concerning solutions to poverty in America. We can do things to soften the effect of poverty.
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