As Illinois continues to face financial straits, you may find yourself searching for insight about the systemic issues that give rise to this kind of crisis. As the next installment of our “Have You Read?” series, we hope to highlight one of the resources to help you start a conversation about these issues if you aren’t having them already.
Today we encourage you to pick up Sasha Abramsky’s The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives, which was selected as A Notable Book of the Year in 2013 by The New York Times Book Review.
The publisher writes:
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. This book shines a light on this travesty. The author 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, he 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, this book brings that same powerful indignation to the topic.