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Academic Literacy I: Myth of Individual Opportunity
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich; Frances Fox PivenTheNew York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage. Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.
Call Number: HD4918.E375 2002
Decoded by Jay-ZDecoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time. Praise for Decoded "Compelling . . . provocative, evocative . . . Part autobiography, part lavishly illustrated commentary on the author's own work, Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "One of a handful of books that just about any hip hop fan should own."--The New Yorker "Elegantly designed, incisively written . . . an impressive leap by a man who has never been known for small steps."--Los Angeles Times "A riveting exploration of Jay-Z's journey . . . So thoroughly engrossing, it reads like a good piece of cultural journalism."--The Boston Globe "Shawn Carter's most honest airing of the experiences he drew on to create the mythic figure of Jay-Z . . . The scenes he recounts along the way are fascinating."--Entertainment Weekly "Hip-hop's renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate and slick."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Call Number: ML420.J29 A3 2010
Wal-Mart Wars by Rebekah Peeples MassengillWal-Mart is America's largest retailer. The national chain of stores is a powerful stand-in of both the promise and perils of free market capitalism. Yet it is also often the target of public outcry for its labor practices, to say nothing of class-action lawsuits, and a central symbol in America's increasingly polarized political discourse over consumption, capitalism and government regulations. In many ways the battle over Wal-Mart is the battle between "Main Street" and "Wall Street" as the fate of workers under globalization and the ability of the private market to effectively distribute precious goods like health care take center stage. In Wal-Mart Wars, Rebekah Massengill shows that the economic debates are not about dollars and cents, but instead represent a conflict over the deployment of deeper symbolic ideas about freedom, community, family, and citizenship. Wal-Mart Wars argues that the family is not just a culture wars issue to be debated with regard to same-sex marriage or the limits of abortion rights; rather, the family is also an idea that shapes the ways in which both conservative and progressive activists talk about economic issues, and in the process, construct different moral frameworks for evaluating capitalism and its most troubling inequalities. With particular attention to political activism and the role of big business to the overall economy, Massengill shows that the fight over the practices of this multi-billion dollar corporation can provide us with important insight into the dreams and realities of American capitalism.
Call Number: HF5429 .M337 2013
The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles FishmanAn award-winning journalist breaks through the wall of secrecy to reveal the many astonishing ways Wal-Mart's power affects our lives and reaches all around the world. The Wal-Mart Effect: The overwhelming impact of the world's largest company--due to its relentless pursuit of low prices--on retailers and manufacturers, wages and jobs, the culture of shopping, the shape of our communities, and the environment; a global force of unprecedented nature. Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest company; it is also the largest company in the history of the world. Americans spend $26 million every hourat Wal-Mart, twenty-four hours of every day, every day of the year. Is the company a good thing or a bad thing? On the one hand, market guru Warren Buffett estimates that the company's low prices save American consumers $10 billion a year. On the other, the behemoth is the #1 employer in thirty-seven of the fifty states yet has never let a union in the door. Though 70 percent of Americans now live within a fifteen-minute drive of a Wal-Mart store, we have not even begun to understand the true power of the company and the many ways it is shaping American life. We know about the lawsuits and the labor protests, but what we don't know is how profoundly the "Wal-Mart effect" is shaping our lives. Fast Companysenior editor Fishman, whose revelatory cover story on Wal-Mart generated the strongest reader response in the history of the magazine, takes us on an unprecedented behind-the-scenes investigative expedition deep inside the many worlds of Wal-Mart. He reveals the radical ways in which the company is transforming America's economy, our workforce, our communities, and our environment. Fishman penetrated the secrecy of Wal-Mart headquarters, interviewing twenty-five high-level ex-executives; he journeyed into the world of a host of Wal-Mart's suppliers to uncover how the company strong-arms even the most established brands; and journeyed to the ports and factories, the fields and forests where Wal-Mart's power is warping the very structure of the world's market for goods. Wal-Mart is not just a retailer anymore, Fishman argues. It has become a kind of economic ecosystem, and anyone who wants to understand the forces shaping our world today must understand the company's hidden reach.
Call Number: HF5429.215.U6 F56 2006
Chasing the American Dream by Mark Robert Rank; Thomas A. Hirschl; Kirk A. FosterThe United States has been epitomized as a land of opportunity, where hard work and skill can bring personal success and economic well-being. The American Dream has captured the imagination of people from all walks of life, and to many, it represents the heart and soul of the country. Butthere is another, darker side to the bargain that America strikes with its people - it is the price we pay for our individual pursuit of the American Dream. That price can be found in the economic hardship present in the lives of millions of Americans.In Chasing the American Dream, leading social scientists Mark Robert Rank, Thomas A. Hirschl, and Kirk A. Foster provide a new and innovative look into a curious dynamic - the tension between the promise of economic opportunities and rewards and the amount of turmoil that Americans encounter intheir quest for those rewards. The authors explore questions such as:* What percentage of Americans achieve affluence, and how much income mobility do we actually have?* Are most Americans able to own a home, and at what age?* How is it that nearly 80 percent of us will experience significant economic insecurity at some point between ages 25 and 60?* How can access to the American Dream be increased?Combining personal interviews with dozens of Americans and a longitudinal study covering 40 years of income data, the authors tell the story of the American Dream and reveal a number of surprises. The risk of economic vulnerability has increased substantially over the past four decades, and theAmerican Dream is becoming harder to reach and harder to keep. Yet for most Americans, the Dream lies not in wealth, but in economic security, pursuing one's passions, and looking toward the future. Chasing the American Dream provides us with a new understanding into the dynamics that shape ourfortunes and a deeper insight into the importance of the American Dream for the future of the country.
Call Number: HC106.84 .R36 2014
The American Way of Poverty by Sasha AbramskySelected as A Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking bookThe 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.
Call Number: HC110.P6 A54 2013
Modern Slavery by Kevin Bales; Zoe Trodd; Alex Kent WilliamsonThere are 27 million slaves alive today, more than at any point in history, and more than were stolen from Africa during four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. Written by the world's leading experts, this shocking and powerful examination combines original research with first-hand stories from the slaves themselves to provide a reliable account of one of the worst humanitarian crises facing us today. Conservative estimates place the number of slaves living in the US right now at 40,000 with 17,000 individuals being trafficked a year. Around half of these will be forced into the sex industry while others labour in plain sight in hotels and restaurants. Only a few slaves are reached and freed each year, but the authors offer hope for the future with a global blueprint that proposes to end slavery in our lifetime. Kevin Bales is president of Free the Slaves and advisor to the UN and the US and British governments. He lives in Takoma Park, MD. Zoe Trodd teaches in the history and literature department at Harvard University. Dr. Alex Kent Williamson works at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard University.
When The Blackstone Group bought a company and immediately laid off 841 people to boost profitability, the investors made a killing at the expense of the employees whose lives were derailed. In this program, Bill Moyers talks with best-selling journalist Barbara Ehrenreich—author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream—about the real-world impact of the growing inequality gap between the increasingly wealthy and an eroding middle class.
We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.
Ending Slavery by Kevin BalesIn his 1999 book, Disposable People, Kevin Bales brought to light the shocking fact of modern slavery and described how, nearly two hundred years after the slave trade was abolished (legal slavery would have to wait another fifty years), global slavery stubbornly persists. In Ending Slavery, Bales again grapples with the struggle to end this ancient evil and presents the ideas and insights that can finally lead to slavery's extinction. Recalling his own involvement in the antislavery movement, he recounts a personal journey in search of the solution and explains how governments and citizens can build a world without slavery.
Publication Date: 2007-09-28
Inequality by James K. GalbraithOver the past thirty years, the issue of economic inequality has emerged from the backwaters of economics to claim center stage in the political discourse of America and beyond - a change prompted by a troubling fact: numerous measures of income inequality, especially in the United States inthe last quarter of the twentieth century, have risen sharply in recent years. Even so, many people remain confused about what, exactly, politicians and media persons mean when they discuss inequality. What does "economic inequality" mean? How is it measured? Why should we care? Why did inequalityrise in the United States? Is rising inequality an inevitable feature of capitalism? What should we do about it?Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know takes up these questions and more in plain and clear language, bringing to life one of the great economic and political debates of our age. Inequality expert James K. Galbraith has compiled the latest economic research on inequality and explains his findingsin a way that everyone can understand. He offers a comprehensive introduction to the study of economic inequality, including its philosophical and theoretical origins, the variety of concepts in wide use, empirical measures and their advantages and disadvantages, competing modern theories of thecauses and effects of rising inequality in the United States and worldwide, and a range of policy measures.The topic of economic inequality is going to become only more important as we approach the 2016 presidential elections. This latest addition to the popular What Everyone Needs to Know series from Oxford University Press will tell you everything you need to know to make informed opinions on thissignificant issue.
Publication Date: 2016-03-10
Inequality by A. B. AtkinsonWinner of the Richard A. Lester Award for the Outstanding Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics, Princeton University An Economist Best Economics and Business Book of the Year A Financial Times Best Economics Book of the Year Inequality is one of our most urgent social problems. Curbed in the decades after World War II, it has recently returned with a vengeance. We all know the scale of the problem?talk about the 99% and the 1% is entrenched in public debate?but there has been little discussion of what we can do but despair. According to the distinguished economist Anthony Atkinson, however, we can do much more than skeptics imagine. ?[Atkinson] sets forth a list of concrete, innovative, and persuasive proposals meant to show that alternatives still exist, that the battle for social progress and equality must reclaim its legitimacy, here and now? Witty, elegant, profound, this book should be read.? ?Thomas Piketty, New York Review of Books ?An uncomfortable affront to our reigning triumphalists. [Atkinson's] premise is straightforward: inequality is not unavoidable, a fact of life like the weather, but the product of conscious human behavior. ?Owen Jones, The Guardian
Publication Date: 2015-05-11
Understanding Inequality by John Stuart MillAs the age of globalization and New Media unite disparate groups of people in new ways, the continual transformation and interconnections between ethnicity, class, and gender become increasingly complex. This reader, comprised of a diverse array of sources ranging from the New York Times to the journals of leading research universities, explores these issues as systems of stratification that work to reinforce one another. Understanding Inequality provides students and academics with the basic hermeneutics for considering new thought on ethnicity, class, and gender in the 21st century.
Publication Date: 2007-04-19
Violence, Inequality, and Human Freedom by Peter Iadicola; Anson Shupe Violence: The Enduring Problem, by Alex Alvarez and Ronet Bachman·Paper, Sage 2007, $52.95, 360 pg. (9781412916851), 124 PA, 75 BS, Pubtrack Spring & Summer 2007 – Fall 2011: 1120 new units (714 used)·Focuses on violent crime, less discussion of international or structural violence. Violence and Society, edited by Matthew Silberman·Paper, Prentice Hall, 2002, $82.80, 364 pg. (9780130967732), 27 PA, 57 BS, Pubtrack Spring & Summer 2007 – Fall 2011: 272 new units (214 used)·A reader that looks at many kinds of violence. Criminal Violence: Patterns, Causes, and Prevention, by Marc Riedel and Wayne Welch·2nd edition, Paper, Oxford, 2007, $49.95, 400 pg (9780195332483), 61 PA, 174 BS, Pubtrack Spring & Summer 2007 – Fall 2011: 1654 new units (1086 used)·3rd edition, Oxford, 2011, $54.95, 384 pg., (978-0199738786). Pubtrack Fall 2010 – Fall 2011: 507 new units (153 used)·Only discusses criminal violence, not the full range of individual and structural violence that our book includes. Violence and Nonviolence: Pathways to Understanding, by Gregg Barak·Paper, Sage, 2003, $69.95, 360 pg (9780761926962), 116 PA, 145 BS, Pubtrack Spring & Summer 2007 – Fall 2011: 276 new units (336 used)·We are publishing a second edition of this book in spring 2013. Promote together?