Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It

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Twenty-five million Americans-nearly 9 percent of the U.S. population-rely on food pantries. Another 13 million aren't linked to a food distribution network, and 14 million children are at risk of going hungry on any given day. Meanwhile, the faltering economy is increasing the number of American families that don't know where their next meals are coming from.Breadline USA treats this crisis not only as matter of failed policies, but also as a portrait of real human suffering. Investigative reporter Sasha Abramsky focuses attention on the people behind the statistics-the families caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Breadline USA is a vivid reminder of the fate many more Americans will face without urgent action.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Journalist Abramsky (Hard Times Blues) combines an account of his own seven-week experiment in living on a poverty budget with moving vignettes of men and women who have fallen through society's frayed safety net and are suffering from "food insecurity." Tens of millions of Americans live in "a continual state of anxiety"; to malnutrition is added the further suffering of shame and despair. Focusing on communities in Western states, the author uncovers the tragedy of the collapse of the middle class. Unionized industrial giants like General Motors have fallen on hard times and global economic restructuring has had a devastating impact on many workers, often stripping them of benefits accumulated over decades. Although providing a vivid glimpse into the world of food banks and soup kitchens, the book, which reads like a series of newspaper articles, offers few suggestions for solving the problem aside from challenging political leaders to make corrections to a system gone tragically awry. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981709116
  • Publisher: PoliPointPress, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Pages: 209
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sasha Abramsky is a freelance journalist and Senior Fellow at the New York City-based think tank, Demos: Ideas & Action. His work has appeared in The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, New York magazine, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. Originally from England and a graduate of Oxford University, he has since adopted his mother’s homeland of America and now lives in Sacramento, California. He has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. In 2000, he was awarded a Soros Society, Crime, and Communities Media Fellowship. His third book, American Furies: Crime, Punishment, and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment, was published by Beacon Press in 2007. His first book, Hard Time Blues, was published in 2002; his second book, Conned, was published in 2006.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Note on Sources xiii

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 Driving to Hunger 21

Interlude I 49

Chapter 2 When the Month Is Longer Than the Money 55

Interlude II 71

Chapter 3 Trickle-up Poverty 79

Interlude III 101

Chapter 4 Big-Box Special 107

Interlude IV 141

Chapter 5 Elderly, Angry, and Looking for Work 145

Interlude V 165

Chapter 6 Grapes of Wrath Regurgitated 169

Conclusion: After the Fall 195

Index 201

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