Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. VanceTHE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IS NOW A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD AND STARRING AMY ADAMS, GLENN CLOSE, AND GABRIEL BASSO "You will not read a more important book about America this year."--The Economist "A riveting book."--The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."--David Brooks, New York Times From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis--that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Call Number: HD8073 .V37 A3 2016
Publication Date: 2016-06-28
Divided by David Cay Johnston (Editor)Compiled by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, Divided gathers the writings of leading scholars, activists and journalists to provide an illuminating, multifaceted look at inequality. Combining surprising statistical evidence with penetrating new analysis, the contributors explore the devastating implications that income inequality has on areas as diverse as education, justice, healthcare, social mobility and political representation. This is an essential resource for anyone who cares about the future of Western economies.
Call Number: HM821 .D585 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. StiglitzA forceful argument against America's vicious circle of growing inequality by the Nobel Prize-winning economist. The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation's wealth. And, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that "their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live." Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems. With characteristic insight, Stiglitz examines our current state, then teases out its implications for democracy, for monetary and budgetary policy, and for globalization. He closes with a plan for a more just and prosperous future.
Call Number: HC110.I5 S867 2012
Publication Date: 2012-06-11
Our Kind of People by Lawrence GrahamDebutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha's Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group. Author and TV commentator Lawrence Otis Graham, one of the nation's most prominent spokesmen on race and class, spent six years interviewing the wealthiest black families in America. He includes historical photos of a people that made their first millions in the 1870s. Graham tells who's in and who's not in the group today with separate chapters on the elite in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New Orleans. A new Introduction explains the controversy that the book elicited from both the black and white communities.
The Missing Class by Katherine S. Newman; Victor Tan ChenFifty-seven million Americans—including 21 percent of the nation's children—live a notch above the poverty line, and yet the challenges they face are largely ignored. Parents often work at a breakneck pace to preserve the progress they have made and are but one divorce or unexpected hospitalization away from sliding into poverty.
Call Number: HD8072.5 .N487 2007
Class Matters by Steve FraserA uniquely personal yet deeply informed exploration of the hidden history of class in American life From the decks of the Mayflower straight through to Donald Trump's "American carnage," class has always played a role in American life. In this remarkable work, Steve Fraser twines our nation's past with his own family's history, deftly illustrating how class matters precisely because Americans work so hard to pretend it doesn't. He examines six signposts of American history--the settlements at Plymouth and Jamestown; the ratification of the Constitution; the Statue of Liberty; the cowboy; the "kitchen debate" between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev; and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech--to explore just how pervasively class has shaped our national conversation. With a historian's intellectual command and a riveting narrative voice, Fraser interweaves these examples with his own past--including his false arrest on charges of planning to blow up the Liberty Bell during the Civil Rights era--to tell a story both urgent and timeless.
Publication Date: 2018-03-20
Books and eBooks: Poverty
Against the Wall by Elijah Anderson (Editor); Cornel West (Foreword by)Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title Typically residing in areas of concentrated urban poverty, too many young black men are trapped in a horrific cycle that includes active discrimination, unemployment, violence, crime, prison, and early death. This toxic mixture has given rise to wider stereotypes that limit the social capital of all young black males. Edited and with an introductory chapter by sociologist Elijah Anderson, the essays in Against the Wall describe how the young black man has come to be identified publicly with crime and violence. In reaction to his sense of rejection, he may place an exaggerated emphasis on the integrity of his self-expression in clothing and demeanor by adopting the fashions of the "street." To those deeply invested in and associated with the dominant culture, his attitude is perceived as profoundly oppositional. His presence in public gathering places becomes disturbing to others, and the stereotype of the dangerous young black male is perpetuated and strengthened. To understand the origin of the problem and the prospects of the black inner-city male, it is essential to distinguish his experience from that of his pre-Civil Rights Movement forebears. In the 1950s, as militant black people increasingly emerged to challenge the system, the figure of the black male became more ambiguous and fearsome. And while this activism did have the positive effect of creating opportunities for the black middle class who fled from the ghettos, those who remained faced an increasingly desperate climate. Featuring a foreword by Cornel West and sixteen original essays by contributors including William Julius Wilson, Gerald D. Jaynes, Douglas S. Massey, and Peter Edelman, Against the Wall illustrates how social distance increases as alienation and marginalization within the black male underclass persist, thereby deepening the country's racial divide.
Publication Date: 2008-07-02
American Children in Chronic Poverty by Cynthia E. LamyWhy is it so difficult for some people to escape poverty? The author answers that question by describing the complex and interacting knot of problems that children face as they grow up in poverty. Lamy determines which programs and policies produce benefits that exceed costs, providing evidence for an efficient fight against poverty. Recommendations are described within three broad themes: bringing equity to our educational system, supporting families as they transition through difficulties, and making work pay.
Call Number: HV741 .L37 2013
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
Publication Date: 2013-09-10
Bridges Out of Poverty by Ruby Payne; Philip DeVol; Terie Dreussi Smith"If you didn't grow up in poverty, you may be unaware of the 'hidden rules' that govern many aspects of life for the poor. People in poverty are often in survival mode, and support systems taken for granted in middle class and wealth are largely nonexistent." [back cover of book] This book considers the challenges and strengths of people in poverty that must be understood to provide opportunities for them to succeed.
Call Number: HV4045 .39 2009
Publication Date: 2010-03-01
A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. PayneA Framework for Understanding Poverty teaches the hidden rules of economic class and spreads the message that, despite the obstacles poverty can create in all types of interactions, there are specific strategies for overcoming them. Through case studies, personal stories and observations that produce some aha! moments, Payne clearly strikes a chord in her readers, and provides a hopeful message.
Call Number: HV4045 .P39 2003
The New Faces of American Poverty by Timothy J. Essenburg and Lindsey K. Hanson, Eds.The Great Recession (2007 to 2009) brought the United States...to historical levels of poverty. This is one of the first books to focus on the impact of the Great Recession on poverty in America, examining governmental and cultural responses to the economic downturn; the demographics of poverty by gender, age, occupation, education, geographical area, and ethnic identity.
Call Number: HC110.P6 HB3717 2008 ebk Gale Virtual Reference Library
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara EhrenreichIn this now classic work, Barbara Ehrenreich, our sharpest and most original social critic, goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job--any job--can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity--a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything--from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal--in quite the same way again.
Call Number: HD4918 .E375 2002
Publication Date: 2011-08-02
The Undeserving Poor by Michael B. KatzFirst published in 1989, The Undeserving Poor was a critically acclaimed and enormously influential account of America's enduring debate about poverty. Taking stock of the last quarter century, Michael B. Katz's new edition of this classic is virtually a new book. As the first did, it willforce all concerned Americans to reconsider the foundations of our policies toward the poor, especially in the wake of the Great Recession that began in 2008.Katz highlights how throughout American history, the poor have been regarded as undeserving: people who do not deserve sympathy because they brought their poverty on themselves, either through laziness and immorality, or because they are culturally or mentally deficient. This long-dominant view seespoverty as a personal failure, serving to justify America's mean-spirited treatment of the poor. Katz reminds us, however, that there are other explanations of poverty besides personal failure. Poverty has been written about as a problem of place, of resources, of political economy, of power, and ofmarket failure. Katz looks at each idea in turn, showing how they suggest more effective approaches to our struggle against poverty.The Second Edition includes important new material. It now sheds light on the revival of the idea of culture in poverty research; the rehabilitation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan; the resurgent role of biology in discussions of the causes of poverty, such as in The Bell Curve; and the human rightsmovement's intensified focus on alleviating world poverty. It emphasizes the successes of the War on Poverty and Great Society, especially at the grassroots level. It is also the first book to chart the rise and fall of the "underclass" as a concept driving public policy.A major revision of a landmark study, The Undeserving Poor helps readers to see poverty - and our efforts to combat it - in a new light.
Call Number: HC110.P6 K28 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-31
When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius WilsonFor the first time in the 20th century, the majority of adults in the inner cities are not working. In an important and long-awaited study, one of the country's leading sociologists, the acclaimed author of The Truly Disadvantaged, analyzes the disappearance of work and its effects on the inner city of Chicago.
Call Number: HV4045 .W553 1996
Women and Poverty in 21st Century America by Paula vW. DáilDespite an overhaul in the 1990s, the American welfare system remains with a business model focused on the bottom line [and] crafted by male-dominated legislative bodies whose members most likely never had to choose between paying the rent or feeding their kids. This book offers a feminist perspective on the 21st century attitude toward poverty, illustrated by the words of women forced to live every day with social policies they had no voice in developing.
Call Number: HV1445 .D35 2012
The Working Poor by David K. ShiplerNATIONAL BESTSELLER * 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. "This is clearly one of those seminal books that every American should read and read now." --The New York Times Book Review 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 mission of HHSC is to maintain and improve the health and human services system in Texas and to administer its programs in accordance with the highest standards of customer service and accountability for the effective use of funds."
"Breakthrough Austin provides out-of-school learning and academic case management from middle school through college to students from low-income communities who will be the first in their families to graduate from college."
Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance to rise out of poverty? The Opportunity Atlas answers this question using anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-30s.
Articles from Magazines, Journals, & Newspapers
Use the e-resources / databases under Research to find articles.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In Mississippi, where elected officials have a long history of praising self-sufficiency and condemning federal antipoverty programs, a welfare scandal has exposed how millions of dollars were diverted to the rich and powerful — including pro athletes — instead of helping some of the neediest people in the nation.
With little public notice and accelerating speed, child poverty fell by 59 percent from 1993 to 2019, according to a comprehensive new analysis that shows the critical role of increased government aid.
In San Antonio, weathering the second week of a heat wave that has been ferocious even by Texas standards, lower-income residents like Ms. Cruz-Perez are sometimes left with few options to relieve the misery. Not only can she not afford air-conditioning during the hottest part of the day, she lives in the Westside, one of several parts of San Antonio — nearly all of them working-class or poor neighborhoods — where there are few trees to provide shade.
Staring down the American landscape from the back seat of a rented car, I pondered the logic and suddenness of our trip. We were very poor and had never been on vacation, much less traveled to an amusement park resort.
"Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means." The author discusses the crisis of Poor white Americans and refers to two books--"one a provocative, deeply researched history and the other an affecting memoir—are well timed to help make better sense of the plight of struggling whites in the United States. "
This article illustrates the influence of social class as it follows the journey of three New Yorkers—one rich, one middle class, and one working class—who each suffer heart attacks around the same time. In describing their uneven recoveries, the author observed: "class informed everything … from the emergency care each received, the households they returned to, and the jobs they hoped to resume.”
Streaming Media | Films | Documentaries
Born with a Wooden Spoon: Welcome to Poverty U.S.A., 2006"One in eight Americans—approximately 37 million people—live below the poverty line. This program discusses the effects and implications of poverty, examining factors such as illiteracy, insufficient job skills, substance abuse, crime, and the phenomenon of multigenerational poverty, underscoring the disturbing pattern of poverty begetting poverty." (59 minutes)
Call Number: Films on Demand
Down . . . But Not Out! A Look at Situational Poverty, 2007"For many Americans, the threat of sudden poverty has less to do with the nation’s overall economy than it does with personal circumstances. This program discusses the hard facts of situational poverty with a focus on the four most common triggers: job loss, health issues, the loss of a spouse through divorce or death, and natural disasters. A part of the series Poverty in America." (55 minutes)
Call Number: Films on Demand
Low-Wage Immigrant Workers Are Especially Vulnerable to Sexual Abuse. How Can They Say #MeToo?DESCRIPTION
Every day, about 50 people are sexually assaulted or raped in the workplace in the U.S. While the entertainment industry and the political world have been in the headlines, the problem extends to those who work in hotels, clean offices, serve food. Judy Woodruff talks to Bernice Yeung of Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Alejandra Valles of SEIU United Service Workers West.
Call Number: Films on Demand
Nouveau Poor: Immigrant Poverty, 2011"This program reveals the conditions in which an American newcomer, legal or not, struggles to earn a living, save money, and meet basic needs. A part of the series Poverty in America." (41 minutes)
Call Number: Films On Demand
Obvious Poverty: America's Homeless, 2011"Stereotypes tell us it’s easy to spot the homeless—after all, life on the street tends to leave a mark on people. But is a “homeless profile” really meaningful? Interviews with homeless people bring a real-world understanding to the issues, shedding light on the job search frustrations, bureaucratic challenges, and lack of personal safety that go hand-in-hand with a shelterless existence. A part of the series Poverty in America." (32 minutes)
What Poor Child Is This? Poverty and America's Children, 2011"If poverty is a serpent, child poverty is its venom. This program examines child poverty in the U.S.: its causes, its agents, and its human impact. Lack of school readiness (preparation for kindergarten) and poor academic achievement are also examined as factors in the perpetuation of the poverty cycle. A part of the series Poverty in America." (86 minutes)
U.S. Census. "The U.S. Census Bureau collects data that measure the state of the nation's workforce, including employment and unemployment levels, as well as weeks and hours worked." See data tables on related topics.