On September 10th, journalist and Nation Books author Sasha Abramsky released his latest book. The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives chronicles Abramsky's travels across America in order to give voice to the millions who live in poverty — and offer solutions about what we can do to fix it. The book is already receiving significant attention and has been positively reviewed by Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. Buy the book here.
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. Tens of millions of people — both the long-term chronically poor and the new working poor — pay the price for a fractured economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system, their lives shaped by financial insecurity.
In The American Way of Poverty, Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, offers solutions to move toward a more economically just social contract. Publishers Weekly calls the book "[A] searing exposé." Read an excerpt of the book here.
Exploring everything from housing policy to wage protections to affordable higher education, Abramsky explores pragmatic and imaginative solutions that, taken as a whole, amount to a blueprint for a reinvigorated War on Poverty and a reimagined sense of community.
Abramsky is a freelance journalist and a part-time lecturer in the University Writing Program, at the University of California at Davis. His work has appeared in the Nation, the Atlantic Monthly, New York Magazine, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. In 2000 he was awarded an Open Society, Crime, and Communities Media Fellowship, and he is currently a Senior Fellow at Demos.
Lynn Nottage, a Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright, calls the book "incisive and necessary...a call to action." Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved, says,
This urgent and compassionate inquiry breaks the pact of silence in which politicians refuse to talk about poverty and journalists refuse to investigate it. The spirit of Studs Terkel lives on in Sasha Abramsky. He listens to ordinary Americans speak hauntingly about their struggles to survive in a social welfare system designed by Franz Kafka. Every page reports an outrage, a chord in what might have become a requiem for the American Dream, were it not for Abramsky’s conviction that change is possible.
Watch the book trailer below. And click here to watch Abramsky talk about the main themes of the book.
On September 12th, don't miss Abramsky in conversation with Bob Herbert. Herbert, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, is a former Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times. The event is sponsored by the Open Society Foundation, in partnership with Demos. To RSVP for this event, click here.