Author: Kathryn J. Edin
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Social Science
A revelatory account of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don’t think it exists Jessica Compton’s family of four would have no cash income unless she donated plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends. After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen since the mid-1990s — households surviving on virtually no income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to 1.5 million American households, including about 3 million children. Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Edin has “turned sociology upside down” (Mother Jones) with her procurement of rich — and truthful — interviews. Through the book’s many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. The authors illuminate a troubling trend: a low-wage labor market that increasingly fails to deliver a living wage, and a growing but hidden landscape of survival strategies among America’s extreme poor. More than a powerful exposé, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality.
As the haves and have-nots grow more separate and unequal in America, the working poor don't get heard from much. Now they have a voice. Here, Linda Tirado tells what it's like, day after day, to work, eat, shop, raise kids, and keep a roof over your head without enough money. She also answers questions often asked about those who live on or near minimum wage: Why don't they get better jobs? Why don't they make better choices? Why do they smoke cigarettes and have ugly lawns? Why don't they borrow from their parents? Tirado discusses openly how she went from lower-middle class to sometimes middle class to poor, and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why "poor people don't always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should."
Author: David K. Shipler
Release Date: 2008-11-12
Genre: Social Science
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Arab and Jew, an intimate portrait unfolds of working American families struggling against insurmountable odds to escape poverty. As David K. Shipler makes clear in this powerful, humane study, the invisible poor are engaged in the activity most respected in American ideology—hard, honest work. But their version of the American Dream is a nightmare: low-paying, dead-end jobs; the profound failure of government to improve upon decaying housing, health care, and education; the failure of families to break the patterns of child abuse and substance abuse. Shipler exposes the interlocking problems by taking us into the sorrowful, infuriating, courageous lives of the poor—white and black, Asian and Latino, citizens and immigrants. We encounter them every day, for they do jobs essential to the American economy. This impassioned book not only dissects the problems, but makes pointed, informed recommendations for change. It is a book that stands to make a difference.
Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Release Date: 2010-04-01
Genre: Social Science
Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
Author: Kathryn Edin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2013-06-01
Genre: Social Science
Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as "deadbeat dads." Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship’s demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father-child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. Intimate interviews with more than 100 fathers make real the significant obstacles faced by low-income men at every step in the familial process: from the difficulties of romantic relationships, to decision-making dilemmas at conception, to the often celebratory moment of birth, and finally to the hardships that accompany the early years of the child's life, and beyond.
"Unless we believe that those who have more are inherently superior to those who have less, we should be troubled by the fact that patterns of achievement are often fairly predictable, particularly with respect to students' race and class." In Creating the Opportunity to Learn, Wade Boykin and Pedro Noguera help navigate the turbid waters of evidence-based methodologies and chart a course toward closing (and eliminating) the academic achievement gap. Turning a critical eye to current and recent research, the authors present a comprehensive view of the achievement gap and advocate for strategies that contribute to the success of all children. Boykin and Noguera maintain that it is possible to close the achievement gap by abandoning failed strategies, learning from successful schools, and simply doing more of what the research shows is most effective. Success is founded on equity, but equity involves more than simply ensuring students have equal access to education; equity also entails a focus on outcomes and results. If we want to bring about significant improvements in those outcomes, we have to do more to address the context in which learning takes place. In short, we must create schools where a child's race or class is no longer a predictor for how well he or she might perform.
Author: Fumio Sasaki
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2017-04-11
Genre: House & Home
The best-selling phenomenon from Japan that shows us a minimalist life is a happy life. Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo—he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. In Goodbye, Things Sasaki modestly shares his personal minimalist experience, offering specific tips on the minimizing process and revealing how the new minimalist movement can not only transform your space but truly enrich your life. The benefits of a minimalist life can be realized by anyone, and Sasaki’s humble vision of true happiness will open your eyes to minimalism’s potential.
Author: Matthew Desmond
Release Date: 2016
Genre: POLITICAL SCIENCE
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION - FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review - The Boston Globe - The Washington Post - NPR - Entertainment Weekly - The New Yorker - Bloomberg - Esquire - Buzzfeed - Fortune - San Francisco Chronicle - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Politico - The Week - Bookpage - Kirkus Reviews - Amazon - Barnes and Noble Review - Apple - Library Journal - Chicago Public Library - Publishers Weekly - Booklist - Shelf Awareness From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, "Love don't pay the bills." She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas. Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality--and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
Author: Judith Bartfeld
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 2015-11-25
Genre: Social Science
In 1963, President Kennedy proposed making permanent a small pilot project called the Food Stamp Program (FSP). By 2013, the program's fiftieth year, more than one in seven Americans received benefits at a cost of nearly $80 billion. Renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2008, it currently faces sharp political pressure, but the social science research necessary to guide policy is still nascent. In SNAP Matters, Judith Bartfeld, Craig Gundersen, Timothy M. Smeeding, and James P. Ziliak bring together top scholars to begin asking and answering the questions that matter. For example, what are the antipoverty effects of SNAP? Does SNAP cause obesity? Or does it improve nutrition and health more broadly? To what extent does SNAP work in tandem with other programs, such as school breakfast and lunch? Overall, the volume concludes that SNAP is highly responsive to macroeconomic pressures and is one of the most effective antipoverty programs in the safety net, but the volume also encourages policymakers, students, and researchers to continue examining this major pillar of social assistance in America.
In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.
Author: Sarah Halpern-Meekin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-01-14
Genre: Social Science
The world of welfare has changed radically. As the poor trade welfare checks for low-wage jobs, their low earnings qualify them for a hefty check come tax time—a combination of the earned income tax credit and other refunds. For many working parents this one check is like hitting the lottery, offering several months’ wages as well as the hope of investing in a better future. Drawing on interviews with 115 families, the authors look at how parents plan to use this annual cash windfall to build up savings, go back to school, and send their kids to college. However, these dreams of upward mobility are often dashed by the difficulty of trying to get by on meager wages. In accessible and engaging prose, It’s Not Like I’m Poor examines the costs and benefits of the new work-based safety net, suggesting ways to augment its strengths so that more of the working poor can realize the promise of a middle-class life.
Author: Katherine S. Newman
Release Date: 2009-03-04
Genre: Social Science
"Powerful and poignant.... Newman's message is clear and timely." --The Philadelphia Inquirer In No Shame in My Game, Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman gives voice to a population for whom work, family, and self-esteem are top priorities despite all the factors that make earning a living next to impossible--minimum wage, lack of child care and health care, and a desperate shortage of even low-paying jobs. By intimately following the lives of nearly 300 inner-city workers and job seekers for two yearsin Harlem, Newman explores a side of poverty often ignored by media and politicians--the working poor. The working poor find dignity in earning a paycheck and shunning the welfare system, arguing that even low-paying jobs give order to their lives. No Shame in My Game gives voice to a misrepresented segment of today's society, and is sure to spark dialogue over the issues surrounding poverty, working and welfare. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: David Lee Windecher
Publisher: MBMA GROUP LLC
Release Date: 2015-05-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The AmerIcan Dream is at once an inspiring account of a young mans journey from defendant to defense attorney, a window into the inner workings of one of Miami s most notorious drug rings, and a chilling portrait of the streets that Americas poverty-stricken youth call home. The hood is an addiction. An addiction that pulls as seductively and fiercely as the drugs hustled on its streets. And living in it is a daily exercise in survival. Raised impoverished in the streets of Miami, David Lee Windecher was only eleven years old when he was arrested for shoplifting. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, deciding to take what he believed he deserved. But that was the beginning for David. That was the day he started thinking like a hustler. He could stop waiting for the scales to tip in his favor. He could stop going without. He could take what life denied him. And he did. For the next seven years, David fought bitterly against his circumstances at the side of his gang-affiliate brothers. It began with selling dope to help his family eat, but pulled into the dark, seductive life of violence, drugs, money, and notoriety David lost himself to the game. Before he turned eighteen, he had built and masterminded a crime ring, had been arrested thirteen times, and fought daily wars against rival gangs and dirty cops. But deep inside of David, an idealistic boy still dreamed of becoming an attorney and fighting for justice despite race. He was just waiting for someone to believe he existed.