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Books Cited in The Working Poor On the Shelf at CCBC Libraries
Nickel and Dimed by TheNew 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
From Neurons to Neighborhoods by How we raise young children is one of today's most highly personalized and sharply politicized issues, in part because each of us can claim some level of "expertise." The debate has intensified as discoveries about our development-in the womb and in the first months and years-have reached the popular media. How can we use our burgeoning knowledge to assure the well-being of all young children, for their own sake as well as for the sake of our nation? Drawing from new findings, this book presents important conclusions about nature-versus-nurture, the impact of being born into a working family, the effect of politics on programs for children, the costs and benefits of intervention, and other issues. The committee issues a series of challenges to decision makers regarding the quality of child care, issues of racial and ethnic diversity, the integration of children's cognitive and emotional development, and more. Authoritative yet accessible, From Neurons to Neighborhoods presents the evidence about "brain wiring" and how kids learn to speak, think, and regulate their behavior. It examines the effect of the climate-family, child care, community-within which the child grows.
Call Number: HQ767.9 .F76 2000
Online From CCBC Libraries
Regaining the Dream by Millions of Americans have lost their homes since the start of the recession initiated by the financial crisis of 2008-09. But is the dream of homeownership for America's working families obsolete, an aspiration from a bygone era? Regaining the Dream rejects that notion and proposes a way to strengthen the financial system while simultaneously promoting an equitable and viable American homeownership policy. For the first time, the authors of Regaining the Dream offer data-driven evidence on how the mortgage industry can serve working families in the United States, pointing the way to a pragmatic housing policy that promotes the opportunity for sustainable homeownership. Taking the reader step by step through the lending crisis and what caused it, the authors include useful and clear definitions of terms heard almost daily in news coverage. And they give a fair account of the history behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the new Dodd-Frank law, explaining what remains to be done to uphold one of the defining characteristics of the American dream.
Publication Date: 2011
The American Dream in the 21st Century by The American Dream has long been a dominant theme in U.S. culture, one with enduring significance, but these are difficult times for dreamers. The editors of and contributors to "The American Dream in the 21st Century" examine the American Dream historically, socially, and economically and consider its intersection with politics, religion, race, gender, and generation. The conclusions presented in this short, readable volume provide both optimism for the faith that most Americans have in the possibility of achieving the American Dream and a realistic assessment of the cracks in the dream. The last presidential election offered hope, but the experts here warn about the need for better programs and policies that could make the dream a reality for a larger number of Americans.
Publication Date: 2011
Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues by This single-source reference will help students and general readers alike understand the most critical issues facing American society today. Featuring the work of almost 200 expert contributors, the Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues comprises four volumes, each devoted to a particular subject area. Volume one covers business and the economy; volume two, criminal justice; volume three, family and society; and volume four, the environment, science, and technology. Coverage within these volumes ranges from biotechnology to identity theft, from racial profiling to corporate governance, from school choice to food safety. The work brings into focus a broad array of key issues confronting American society today. Approximately 225 in-depth entries lay out the controversies debated in the media, on campuses, in government, in boardrooms, and in homes and neighborhoods across the United States. Critical issues in criminology, medicine, religion, commerce, education, the environment, media, family life, and science are all carefully described and examined in a scholarly yet accessible way. Sidebars, photos, charts, and graphs throughout augment the entries, making them even more compelling and informative. Four volumes divided by subject area 225 entries written by experienced researchers and professionals who are experts in their fields Charts and graphs Comprehensive bibliographies at the end of each topic volume Sidebars containing interesting and useful tangents to the main discussion Further reading section at end of each entry, including Internet links
Publication Date: 2010
Books on Related Topics
The American Way of Poverty by Selected 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
Poverty in America by The United States is among the most affluent nations in the world and has its largest economy; nevertheless, it has more poverty than most countries with similar standards of living. Growing income inequality and the Great Recession have made the problem worse. In this thoroughly revised edition of Poverty in America, Iceland takes a new look at this issue by examining why poverty remains pervasive, what it means to be poor in America today, which groups are most likely to be poor, the root causes of poverty, and the effects of policy on poverty. This new edition also includes completely updated data and extended discussions of poverty in the context of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements as well as new chapters on the Great Recession and global poverty. In doing so this book provides the most recent information available on patterns and trends in poverty and engages in an open and accessible manner in current critical debates.
Call Number: HC110.P6 I25 2013
The Betrayal of the American Dream by ANew York Times bestseller America's unique prosperity is based on its creation of a middle class. In the twentieth century, that middle class provided the workforce, the educated skills, and the demand that gave life to the world's greatest consumer economy. It was innovative and dynamic; it eclipsed old imperial systems and colonial archetypes. It gave rise to a dream: that if you worked hard and followed the rules you would prosper in America, and your children would enjoy a better life than yours. The American dream was the lure to gifted immigrants and the birthright opportunity for every American citizen. It is as important a part of the history of the country as the passing of the Bill of Rights, the outcome of the battle of Gettysburg, or the space program. Incredibly, however, for more than thirty years, government and big business in America have conspired to roll back the American dream. What was once accessible to a wide swath of the population is increasingly open only to aprivileged few. The story of how the American middle class has been systematically impoverished and its prospects thwarted in favor of a new ruling elite is at the heart of this extraordinarily timely and revealing book, whose devastating findings from two of the finest investigative reporters in the country will leave you astonished and angry.
Call Number: HC106.84 .B37 2012
Who Stole the American Dream? by Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith's new book is an extraordinary achievement, an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas. In his bestselling The Russians, Smith took millions of readers inside the Soviet Union. In The Power Game, he took us inside Washington's corridors of power. Now Smith takes us across America to show how seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have transformed America. As only a veteran reporter can, Smith fits the puzzle together, starting with Lewis Powell's provocative memo that triggered a political rebellion that dramatically altered the landscape of power from then until today. This is a book full of surprises and revelations--the accidental beginnings of the 401(k) plan, with disastrous economic consequences for many; the major policy changes that began under Jimmy Carter; how the New Economy disrupted America's engine of shared prosperity, the "virtuous circle" of growth, and how America lost the title of "Land of Opportunity." Smith documents the transfer of $6 trillion in middle-class wealth from homeowners to banks even before the housing boom went bust, and how the U.S. policy tilt favoring the rich is stunting America's economic growth. This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn't looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists. Smith talks to a wide range of people, telling the stories of Americans high and low. From political leaders such as Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to CEOs such as Al Dunlap, Bob Galvin, and Andy Grove, to heartland Middle Americans such as airline mechanic Pat O'Neill, software systems manager Kristine Serrano, small businessman John Terboss, and subcontractor Eliseo Guardado, Smith puts a human face on how middle-class America and the American Dream have been undermined. This magnificent work of history and reportage is filled with the penetrating insights, provocative discoveries, and the great empathy of a master journalist. Finally, Smith offers ideas for restoring America's great promise and reclaiming the American Dream. Praise for Who Stole the American Dream? "[A] sweeping, authoritative examination of the last four decades of the American economic experience."--The Huffington Post "Some fine work has been done in explaining the mess we're in. . . . But no book goes to the headwaters with the precision, detail and accessibility of Smith."--The Seattle Times "Sweeping in scope . . . [Smith] posits some steps that could alleviate the problems of the United States."--USA Today "Brilliant . . . [a] remarkably comprehensive and coherent analysis of and prescriptions for America's contemporary economic malaise."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Smith enlivens his narrative with portraits of the people caught up in events, humanizing complex subjects often rendered sterile in economic analysis. . . . The human face of the story is inseparable from the history."--Reuters
Call Number: E839.5 .S59 2012
Working Hard, Working Poor by More than three billion people, nearly half of humankind, live on less than two-and-a-half U.S. dollars per person per day. Studies have shown repeatedly that the main and often the sole asset of the poor is their labor. It follows that to understand global poverty one must understand labormarkets and labor earnings in the developing world. Excellent books exist on ending world poverty that discuss in depth many important aspects of economic development but do not focus on employment and self-employment, work and non-work. Working Hard, Working Poor fills in where the other booksleave off.Issues of analyzing poverty and low earnings in the developing world are quite different from those in the developed world. The discourse in the developed world is about incentive effects of social welfare programs, cultures of poverty, single-parenthood, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, illhealth, mental illness, domestic violence, and the like. But in the developing world, different issues predominate, such as own-account work and household enterprises, agricultural work, casual employment, and informal work. And some of the policy issues -- stimulating economic growth, harnessingthe energies of the private sector, increasing paid employment, and raising the returns to self-employment -- take a different twist. This book shows how people in poverty work, what has been effective in helping the poor earn their way out of poverty, and how readers might help.
Call Number: HC59.72.P6 F54 2012
Here are memoirs and novels in which poverty is a central theme, which might be used in conjunction with The Working Poor.
Angela's Ashes by Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.
Call Number: E184 .I6 .M117 1996
Bastard Out of Carolina by Greenville County, South Carolina, a wild, lush place, is home to the Boatwright familyrough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. At the heart of this astonishing novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. Observing everything with the mercilessly keen eye of a child, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that will test the loyalty of her mother, Anney. Her stepfather, Daddy Glen, calls Bone "cold as death, mean as a snake, and twice as twisty," yet Anney needs Glen. At first gentle with Bone, Daddy Glen becomes steadily colder and more furiousuntil their final, harrowing encounter, from which there can be no turning back.
Call Number: PS3551.L453 B37 1993b
Empire Falls by Winner of the Pulitzer Prize "Russo writes with a warm, vibrant humanity.... A stirring mix of poignancy, drama and comedy." --The Washington Post Welcome to Empire Falls, a blue-collar town full of abandoned mills whose citizens surround themselves with the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors and who find humor and hope in the most unlikely places, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Richard Russo. Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it's Janine, Miles' soon-to-be ex-wife, who's taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it's the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town-and seems to believe that "everything" includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.
Call Number: PS3568.U812 E4 2002
The Grapes of Wrath by Forced from their home, the Joad family is lured to California to find work; instead they find disillusionment, exploitation, and hunger.
Call Number: PS3537 .T3234 G8 1992
The Jungle by The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics - New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars - Biographies of the authors - Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events - Footnotes and endnotes - Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work - Comments by other famous authors - Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations - Bibliographies for further reading - Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate. All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. Upton Sinclair's muckraking masterpiece The Jungle centers on Jurgis Rudkus, a Lithuanian immigrant working in Chicago's infamous Packingtown. Instead of finding the American Dream, Rudkus and his family inhabit a brutal, soul-crushing urban jungle dominated by greedy bosses, pitiless con-men, and corrupt politicians.
While Sinclair's main target was the industry's appalling labor conditions, the reading public was most outraged by the disgusting filth and contamination in American food that his novel exposed. As a result, President Theodore Roosevelt demanded an official investigation, which quickly led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug laws. For a work of fiction to have such an impact outside its literary context is extremely rare. (At the time of The Jungle's publication in 1906, the only novel to have led to social change on a similar scale in America was Uncle Tom's Cabin.) Today, The Jungle remains a relevant portrait of capitalism at its worst and an impassioned account of the human spirit facing nearly insurmountable challenges.
Call Number: PS3537.I85 J85 2004
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by A young girl from an impoverished family comes of age in Brooklyn at the turn of the twentieth-century.
Call Number: PS3537.M2895 T7 1998
The White Tiger by The stunning Booker Prize-winning novel from the author of Amnesty and Selection Day that critics have likened to Richard Wright's Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India's caste society. "This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before" (John Burdett, Bangkok 8). The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China's impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society. Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation--and a startling, provocative debut.
Call Number: PR9619.4.A35 W47 2008