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|Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor
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Author: Virginia Eubanks
Naomi Klein: "This book is downright scary."
Ethan Zuckerman, MIT: "Should be required reading."
Dorothy Roberts, author of Killing the Black Body: "A must-read for everyone concerned about modern tools of inequality in America."
Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform: "This is the single most important book about technology you will read this year."
A powerful investigative look at data-based discrimination―and how technology affects civil and human rights and economic equity
The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years―because a new computer system interprets any mistake as “failure to cooperate.” In Los Angeles, an algorithm calculates the comparative vulnerability of tens of thousands of homeless people in order to prioritize them for an inadequate pool of housing resources. In Pittsburgh, a child welfare agency uses a statistical model to try to predict which children might be future victims of abuse or neglect.
Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems―rather than humans―control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor.
In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile.
The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values.
This deeply researched and passionate book could not be more timely.
|Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America
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Author: Peter Edelman
Named one of the 10 books to read after you've read Evicted” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
A powerful investigation into the ways the United States has addressed poverty. . . . Lucid and troubling.”
Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, in The Chronicle of Higher Education
A nationally known expert on poverty shows how not having money has been criminalized and shines a light on lawyers, activists, and policy makers working for a more humane approach
In addition to exposing racially biased policing, the Justice Department’s Ferguson Report exposed to the world a system of fines and fees levied for minor crimes in Ferguson, Missouri, that, when they proved too expensive for Ferguson’s largely poor, African American population, resulted in jail sentences for thousands of people.
As former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy and current Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explains in Not a Crime to Be Poor, Ferguson is everywhere in America today. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth we have effectively made it a crime to be poor.
Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare "reform," connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.
|I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street
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Author: Matt Taibbi
A work of riveting literary journalism that explores the roots and repercussions of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police—from the bestselling author of The Divide
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST
On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. The final moments of Garner’s life were captured on video and seen by millions. His agonized last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the nascent Black Lives Matter protest movement. A grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officer who wrestled Garner to the pavement.
Matt Taibbi’s deeply reported retelling of these events liberates Eric Garner from the abstractions of newspaper accounts and lets us see the man in full—with all his flaws and contradictions intact. A husband and father with a complicated personal history, Garner was neither villain nor victim, but a fiercely proud individual determined to do the best he could for his family, bedeviled by bad luck, and ultimately subdued by forces beyond his control.
In America, no miscarriage of justice exists in isolation, of course, and in I Can’t Breathe Taibbi also examines the conditions that made this tragedy possible. Featuring vivid vignettes of life on the street and inside our Kafkaesque court system, Taibbi’s kaleidoscopic account illuminates issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy, and racial disparity in law enforcement. No one emerges unsullied, from the conservative district attorney who half-heartedly prosecutes the case to the progressive mayor caught between the demands of outraged activists and the foot-dragging of recalcitrant police officials.
A masterly narrative of urban America and a scathing indictment of the perverse incentives built into our penal system, I Can’t Breathe drills down into the particulars of one case to confront us with the human cost of our broken approach to dispensing criminal justice.
“Brilliant . . . Taibbi is unsparing is his excoriation of the system, police, and courts. . . . This is a necessary and riveting work.”—Booklist (starred review)
|Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America
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Author: Mary Otto
Brand: NEW PRESS
An NPR Best Book of 2017
"[Teeth is]… more than an exploration of a two-tiered system―it is a call for sweeping, radical change."
New York Times Book Review
“Show me your teeth,” the great naturalist Georges Cuvier is credited with saying, “and I will tell you who you are.” In this shattering new work, veteran health journalist Mary Otto looks inside America’s mouth, revealing unsettling truths about our unequal society.
Teeth takes readers on a disturbing journey into America’s silent epidemic of oral disease, exposing the hidden connections between tooth decay and stunted job prospects, low educational achievement, social mobility, and the troubling state of our public health. Otto’s subjects include the pioneering dentist who made Shirley Temple and Judy Garland’s teeth sparkle on the silver screen and helped create the all-American image of “pearly whites”; Deamonte Driver, the young Maryland boy whose tragic death from an abscessed tooth sparked congressional hearings; and a marketing guru who offers advice to dentists on how to push new and expensive treatments and how to keep Medicaid patients at bay.
In one of its most disturbing findings, Teeth reveals that toothaches are not an occasional inconvenience, but rather a chronic reality for millions of people, including disproportionate numbers of the elderly and people of color. Many people, Otto reveals, resort to prayer to counteract the uniquely devastating effects of dental pain.
Otto also goes back in time to understand the roots of our predicament in the history of dentistry, showing how it became separated from mainstream medicine, despite a century of growing evidence that oral health and general bodily health are closely related.
Muckraking and paradigm-shifting, Teeth exposes for the first time the extent and meaning of our oral health crisis. It joins the small shelf of books that change the way we view society and ourselves—and will spark an urgent conversation about why our teeth matter.
|Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood, 3rd Edition
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Author: Jay MacLeod
Brand: Brand: Westview Press
This classic text addresses one of the most important issues in modern social theory and policy: how social inequality is reproduced from one generation to the next. With the original 1987 publication of Ain?t No Makin? It Jay MacLeod brought us to the Clarendon Heights housing project where we met the `Brothers? and the `Hallway Hangers.? Their story of poverty, race, and defeatism moved readers and challenged ethnic stereotypes. MacLeod?s return eight years later, and the resulting 1995 revision, revealed little improvement in the lives of these men as they struggled in the labor market and crime-ridden underground economy. The third edition of this classic ethnography of social reproduction brings the story of inequality and social mobility into today?s dialogue. Now fully updated with thirteen new interviews from the original Hallway Hangers and Brothers, as well as new theoretical analysis and comparison to the original conclusions, Ain?t No Makin? It remains an admired and invaluable text. Contents Part One: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers as Teenagers 1. Social Immobility in the Land of Opportunity 2. Social Reproduction in Theoretical Perspective 3. Teenagers in Clarendon Heights: The Hallway Hangers and the Brothers 4. The Influence of the Family 5. The World of Work: Aspirations of the Hangers and Brothers 6. School: Preparing for the Competition 7. Leveled Aspirations: Social Reproduction Takes Its Toll 8. Reproduction Theory ReconsideredPart Two: Eight Years Later: Low Income, Low Outcome 9. The Hallway Hangers: Dealing in Despair 10. The Brothers: Dreams Deferred 11. Conclusion: Outclassed and Outcast(e)Part Three: Ain?t No Makin? It? 12. The Hallway Hangers: Fighting for a Foothold at Forty 13. The Brothers: Barely Making It 14. Making Sense of the Stories, by Katherine McClelland and David Karen
- Ain t No Makin It Aspirations and Attainment in a Low Income Neighborhood Third Edition
|The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
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Author: Paul Collier
Brand: Paul Collier
In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states--home to the poorest one billion people on Earth--pose the central challenge of the developing world in the twenty-first century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards. A struggle rages within each of these nations between reformers and corrupt leaders--and the corrupt are winning. Collier analyzes the causes of failure, pointing to a set of traps that ensnare these countries, including civil war, a dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Standard solutions do not work, he writes; aid is often ineffective, and globalization can actually make matters worse, driving development to more stable nations. What the bottom billion need, Collier argues, is a bold new plan supported by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. If failed states are ever to be helped, the G8 will have to adopt preferential trade policies, new laws against corruption, new international charters, and even conduct carefully calibrated military interventions. Collier has spent a lifetime working to end global poverty. In The Bottom Billion, he offers real hope for solving one of the great humanitarian crises facing the world today.
"Set to become a classic. Crammed with statistical nuggets and common sense, his book should be compulsory reading."
"If Sachs seems too saintly and Easterly too cynical, then Collier is the authentic old Africa hand: he knows the terrain and has a keen ear.... If you've ever found yourself on one side or the other of those arguments--and who hasn't?--then you simply must read this book."
--Niall Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review
"Rich in both analysis and recommendations.... Read this book. You will learn much you do not know. It will also change the way you look at the tragedy of persistent poverty in a world of plenty."
- The Bottom Billion Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
|Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard
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Author: Liz Murray
Brand: Hachette Books
Breaking night: (Urban slang) staying up through the night, until the sun rises
Breaking Night is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.
Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.
When Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. Breaking Night is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman's indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.
|Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professional and Communities
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Author: Philip E. DeVol
Brand: Brand: aha Process, Inc.
Bridges Out of Poverty is a unique and powerful tool designed specifically for social, health, and legal services professionals. Based in part on Dr. Ruby K. Payne's myth shattering A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Bridges reaches out to the millions of service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty. In a highly readable format you'll find case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions you and your organization can implement right now to: Redesign programs to better serve people you work with Build skill sets for management to help guide employees Upgrade training for front-line staff like receptionists, case workers, and managers; Improve treatment outcomes in health care and behavioral health care; Increase the likelihood of moving from welfare to work. If your business, agency, or organization works with people from poverty, only a deeper understanding of their challenges-and strengths-will help you partner with them to create opportunities for success.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|The Working Poor: Invisible in America
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Author: David K. Shipler
Brand: David Shipler
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Arab and Jew, an intimate portrait unfolds of working American families struggling against insurmountable odds to escape poverty.
As David K. Shipler makes clear in this powerful, humane study, the invisible poor are engaged in the activity most respected in American ideology—hard, honest work. But their version of the American Dream is a nightmare: low-paying, dead-end jobs; the profound failure of government to improve upon decaying housing, health care, and education; the failure of families to break the patterns of child abuse and substance abuse. Shipler exposes the interlocking problems by taking us into the sorrowful, infuriating, courageous lives of the poor—white and black, Asian and Latino, citizens and immigrants. We encounter them every day, for they do jobs essential to the American economy.
This impassioned book not only dissects the problems, but makes pointed, informed recommendations for change. It is a book that stands to make a difference.
The Working Poor examines the "forgotten America" where "millions live in the shadow of prosperity, in the twilight between poverty and well-being." These are citizens for whom the American Dream is out of reach despite their willingness to work hard. Struggling to simply survive, they live so close to the edge of poverty that a minor obstacle, such as a car breakdown or a temporary illness, can lead to a downward financial spiral that can prove impossible to reverse. David Shipler interviewed many such working people for this book and his profiles offer an intimate look at what it is like to be trapped in a cycle of dead-end jobs without benefits or opportunities for advancement. He shows how some negotiate a broken welfare system that is designed to help yet often does not, while others proudly refuse any sort of government assistance, even to their detriment. Still others have no idea that help is available at all.
"As a culture, the United States is not quite sure about the causes of poverty, and is therefore uncertain about the solutions," he writes. Though he details many ways in which current assistance programs could be more effective and rational, he does not believe that government alone, nor any other single variable, can solve the problem. Instead, a combination of things are required, beginning with the political will needed to create a relief system "that recognizes both the society's obligation through government and business, and the individual's obligation through labor and family." He does propose some specific steps in the right direction such as altering the current wage structure, creating more vocational programs (in both the public and private sectors), developing a fairer way to distribute school funding, and implementing basic national health care.
Prepare to have any preconceived notions about those living in poverty in America challenged by this affecting book. --Shawn Carkonen
|The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton Classics)
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Author: Thomas J. Sugrue
Brand: Thomas J Sugrue
Once America's "arsenal of democracy," Detroit is now the symbol of the American urban crisis. In this reappraisal of America’s racial and economic inequalities, Thomas Sugrue asks why Detroit and other industrial cities have become the sites of persistent racialized poverty. He challenges the conventional wisdom that urban decline is the product of the social programs and racial fissures of the 1960s. Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today’s urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II.
This Princeton Classics edition includes a new preface by Sugrue, discussing the lasting impact of the postwar transformation on urban America and the chronic issues leading to Detroit’s bankruptcy.
- The Origins of the Urban Crisis Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit Princeton Classics
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