The American Way of Poverty

The American Way of Poverty

How the Other Half Still Lives

Book - 2013
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Selected as A Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking book The Other America , in which he chronicled the lives of people excluded from the Age of Affluence, poverty in America is back with a vengeance. It is made up of both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor--the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. In many ways, for the majority of Americans, financial insecurity has become the new norm.

The American Way of Poverty shines a light on this travesty. Sasha Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections and affordable higher education, Abramsky lays out a panoramic blueprint for a reinvigorated political process that, in turn, will pave the way for a renewed War on Poverty.

It is, Harrington believed, a moral outrage that in a country as wealthy as America, so many people could be so poor. Written in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, in an era of grotesque economic extremes, The American Way of Poverty brings that same powerful indignation to the topic.
Publisher: New York, NY : Nation Books, [2013]
ISBN: 9781568587264
Characteristics: xii, 355 pages : ill. ; 22 cm


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Dec 14, 2017

This is a great book in that it does encourage us to keep doing our own part where and when we can. it really does just start with the individual. it IS overwhelming for much of the first half of the book because of all the history he reviews and statistics as someone else mentioned, so I actually ended up skipping to the SECOND half of the book where he talks a lot more about his suggestions and solutions to the problems. I was definitely more interested in that. it was really insightful how he explains how problems perpetuate themselves and can become hopeless downward spirals and why we have to stop it before it gets even worse. We as individuals can help other individuals, but we need a lot more help from the government to make a much bigger dent and really change things for the better for the country as a whole.

Dec 31, 2014

If I had to list one complaint about this book, it's that the author sometimes veers into statistics land...but that's good, as it forced me to think about what he's saying. The frustrating part here is knowing that there are many great books about American poverty out there...but nothing is really going to change, is it? Why do we allow this to continue? Why do we keep electing officials (and spending billions of dollars just to elect candidates to some office)? I found the author's description (on page 108) of New York's WEP program--a rubber room/waiting room--to be eerily similar to Texas' WorkSource Career Centers.

Dec 14, 2014

[Fifty years ago Michael Harringston questioned as to why progressives and union members would want to continue voting for the anti-union anti-progressives democrats - - time for a serious third party! Harrington was correct, nothing has changed but the situation, and inequality, has only gotten worse!]
Great book, and agree with his suggestions of necessary changes, but it ain't going to happen, as everyone realizes, at least not without a violent revolution?


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Dec 15, 2017



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