The American Way of Poverty: Book summary and reviews of The American Way of Poverty by Sasha Abramsky

The American Way of Poverty

How the Other Half Still Lives

By Sasha Abramsky

The American Way of Poverty
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

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 way 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.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [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

"[This] portrait of poverty is one of great complexity and diversity, existential loneliness and desperation - but also amazing resilience." - Kirkus

"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." - Booklist

"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

"This is a devastating, passionate, and important investigative work.." - Joe Sacco, author of Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza, and co-author of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

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