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Books

Poverty


The Working Poor: Invisible in America

The Working Poor: Invisible in America Lowest new price: $7.37
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Author: David K. 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.

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Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi

Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi Lowest new price: $17.90
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Author: Ellen B. Meacham


In April 1967, a year before his run for president, Senator Robert F. Kennedy knelt in a crumbling shack in Mississippi trying to coax a response from a listless child. The toddler sat picking at dried rice and beans spilled over the dirt floor as Kennedy, former US attorney general and brother to a president, touched the boy's distended stomach and stroked his face and hair. After several minutes with little response, the senator walked out the back door, wiping away tears.

In Delta Epiphany: Robert F. Kennedy in Mississippi, Ellen B. Meacham tells the story of Kennedy's visit to the Delta, while also examining the forces of history, economics, and politics that shaped the lives of the children he met in Mississippi in 1967 and the decades that followed. The book includes thirty-seven powerful photographs, a dozen published here for the first time. Kennedy's visit to the Mississippi Delta as part of a Senate subcommittee investigation of poverty programs lasted only a few hours, but Kennedy, the people he encountered, Mississippi, and the nation felt the impact of that journey for much longer. His visit and its aftermath crystallized many of the domestic issues that later moved Kennedy toward his candidacy for the presidency. Upon his return to Washington, Kennedy immediately began seeking ways to help the children he met on his visit; however, his efforts were frustrated by institutional obstacles and blocked by powerful men who were indifferent and, at times, hostile to the plight of poor black children.

Sadly, we know what happened to Kennedy, but this book also introduces us to three of the children he met on his visit, including the baby on the floor, and finishes their stories. Kennedy talked about what he had seen in Mississippi for the remaining fourteen months of his life. His vision for America was shaped by the plight of the hungry children he encountered there.

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Workin' Our Way Home: The Incredible True Story of a Homeless Ex-Con and a Grieving Millionaire Thrown Together to Save Each Other

Workin' Our Way Home: The Incredible True Story of a Homeless Ex-Con and a Grieving Millionaire Thrown Together to Save Each Other Lowest new price: $8.00
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Author: Ron Hall

“I saw his face.” Deborah Hall’s words launched the destiny of two men from very different worlds. Ron Hall was an international art dealer with upscale tastes; Denver Moore was a homeless drifter with a dangerous past. Millions have read about their unlikely bond through their first book, Same Kind of Different as Me—a New York Times bestseller and now a major motion picture. 

Workin’ Our Way Home describes the ten years Ron and Denver lived together after Miss Debbie’s death. Written in both Ron’s and Denver’s unique voices, their inspiring (and often hilarious) adventures include:

  • Their sometimes-bizarre life together in the Murchison Mansion,
  • Denver accidentally almost burning the house down—twice,
  • The challenges involved with making a movie,
  • Two visits to the White House,
  • Travelling the country to raise awareness about homelessness,
  • And much more.

With both wit and wisdom, these pages reveal God’s plan lived out through these men and those closest to them, including their passion to fulfill Debbie’s dream of easing the pain and humiliation associated with homelessness, poverty, and inequality.

“Whether we is rich or whether we is poor, or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless—ever last one of us—just workin our way home.”

—Denver Moore

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What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing

What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing Lowest new price: $5.37
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Author: Ron Hall
Brand: HarperCollins Christian Pub.

Some Stories Just Can’t Be Stopped . . .

What Difference Do It Make? continues the hard-to-believe story of hope and reconciliation that began with the New York Times bestseller, Same Kind of Different as Me. Ron Hall and Denver Moore, unlikely friends and even unlikelier coauthors―a wealthy fine-art dealer and an illiterate homeless African American―share the hard-to-stop story of how a remarkable woman’s love brought them together. Now, in What Difference Do It Make? Ron and Denver along with Lynn Vincent offer:

  • more of the story―with untold anecdotes, especially Ron’s struggle with his difficult father and Denver’s dramatic stint in Angola prison
  • the rest of the story―how Same Kind of Different as Me came to be written and changed the lives of its authors
  • the ongoing story―true tales of hope from people whose lives have been changed by Ron and Denver’s story and how they make a difference in their worlds
  • your part in the story―wise, practical, and hard-lived guidance for how you can make a difference to those in need
  • plus intriguing extras―including full-page color samples of Denver’s paintings
Deeply moving but never sappy or sentimental, What Difference Do It Make? answers its own question with a simple and emphatic answer. What difference can one person (or two) make in the world? A lot!

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The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression

The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression Lowest new price: $11.94
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Author: Peter Joseph

Society is broken. We can design our way to a better one.

In our interconnected world, self-interest and social-interest are rapidly becoming indistinguishable. If current negative trajectories remain, including growing climate destabilization, biodiversity loss, and economic inequality, an impending future of ecological collapse and societal destabilization will make “personal success” virtually meaningless. Yet our broken social system incentivizes behavior that will only make our problems worse. If true human rights progress is to be achieved today, it is time we dig deeper—rethinking the very foundation of our social system.

In this engaging, important work, Peter Joseph, founder of the world’s largest grassroots social movement—The Zeitgeist Movement—draws from economics, history, philosophy, and modern public-health research to present a bold case for rethinking activism in the 21st century.

Arguing against the long-standing narrative of universal scarcity and other pervasive myths that defend the current state of affairs, The New Human Rights Movement illuminates the structural causes of poverty, social oppression, and the ongoing degradation of public health, and ultimately presents the case for an updated economic approach. Joseph explores the potential of this grand shift and how we can design our way to a world where the human family has become truly sustainable.

The New Human Rights Movement reveals the critical importance of a unified activism working to overcome the inherent injustice of our system. This book warns against what is in store if we continue to ignore the flaws of our socioeconomic approach, while also revealing the bright and expansive future possible if we succeed.

Will you join the movement?

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A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions

A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions Lowest new price: $11.00
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Author: Muhammad Yunus

A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and bestselling author of Banker to the Poor offers his vision of an emerging new economic system that can save humankind and the planet


Muhammad Yunus, who created microcredit, invented social business, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in alleviating poverty, is one of today's most trenchant social critics. Now he declares it's time to admit that the capitalist engine is broken--that in its current form it inevitably leads to rampant inequality, massive unemployment, and environmental destruction. We need a new economic system that unleashes altruism as a creative force just as powerful as self-interest.

Is this a pipe dream? Not at all. In the last decade, thousands of people and organizations have already embraced Yunus's vision of a new form of capitalism, launching innovative social businesses designed to serve human needs rather than accumulate wealth. They are bringing solar energy to millions of homes in Bangladesh; turning thousands of unemployed young people into entrepreneurs through equity investments; financing female-owned businesses in cities across the United States; bringing mobility, shelter, and other services to the rural poor in France; and creating a global support network to help young entrepreneurs launch their start-ups.

In A World of Three Zeros, Yunus describes the new civilization emerging from the economic experiments his work has helped to inspire. He explains how global companies like McCain, Renault, Essilor, and Danone got involved with this new economic model through their own social action groups, describes the ingenious new financial tools now funding social businesses, and sketches the legal and regulatory changes needed to jumpstart the next wave of socially driven innovations. And he invites young people, business and political leaders, and ordinary citizens to join the movement and help create the better world we all dream of.

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The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor Lowest new price: $7.95
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Author: David S. Landes

"Readers cannot but be provoked and stimulated by this splendidly iconoclastic and refreshing book."―Andrew Porter, New York Times Book Review

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations is David S. Landes's acclaimed, best-selling exploration of one of the most contentious and hotly debated questions of our time: Why do some nations achieve economic success while others remain mired in poverty? The answer, as Landes definitively illustrates, is a complex interplay of cultural mores and historical circumstance. Rich with anecdotal evidence, piercing analysis, and a truly astonishing range of erudition, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations is a "picture of enormous sweep and brilliant insight" (Kenneth Arrow) as well as one of the most audaciously ambitious works of history in decades.

For the paperback edition, Landes has written a new epilogue, in which he takes account of Asian financial crisises and the international tension between overconfidence and reality. Maps

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High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing Lowest new price: $16.13
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Author: Ben Austen

Joining the ranks of Evicted, The Warmth of Other Suns, and classic works of literary non-fiction by Alex Kotlowitz and J. Anthony Lukas, High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, America’s most iconic public housing project.

Built in the 1940s atop an infamous Italian slum, Cabrini-Green grew to twenty-three towers and a population of 20,000—all of it packed onto just seventy acres a few blocks from Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast. Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. For the many who lived there, it was also a much-needed resource—it was home. By 2011, every high-rise had been razed, the island of black poverty engulfed by the white affluence around it, the families dispersed.

In this novelistic and eye-opening narrative, Ben Austen tells the story of America’s public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities. It is an account told movingly through the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the housing complex’s demise. Beautifully written, rich in detail, and full of moving portraits, High-Risers is a sweeping exploration of race, class, popular culture, and politics in modern America that brilliantly considers what went wrong in our nation’s effort to provide affordable housing to the poor—and what we can learn from those mistakes.

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The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music Lowest new price: $7.68
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Author: Steve Lopez

The inspiring true story that inspired the major motion picture

The New York Times bestselling "unforgettable tale of hope, heart and humanity" (People)


Journalist Steve Lopez discovered of Nathaniel Ayers, a former classical bass student at Julliard, playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles’s Skid Row. Deeply affected by the beauty of Ayers’s music, Lopez took it upon himself to change the prodigy's life—only to find that their relationship would have a profound change on his own.

“An intimate portrait of mental illness, of atrocious social neglect, and the struggle to resurrect a fallen prodigy.” (Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down)

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Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation

Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation Lowest new price: $5.30
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Thirty-six major contemporary writers examine life in a deeply divided America—including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Hector Tobar, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Eula Bliss, Karen Russell, and many more
                 
America is broken. You don’t need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives.

In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world’s most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories we can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.

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