Riches for the Poor: The Clemente Course in the Humanities

Overview

"You've been cheated," Earl Shorris tells a classroom of poor people in New York City.
"Rich people learn the humanities; you didn't. . . . It is generally accepted in America that the liberal arts and humanities in particular belong to the elite. I think you're the elite." In this groundbreaking work, Shorris examines the nature of poverty in America today. Why are people poor, and why do they stay poor? Shorris argues that they lack politics, or the ability to participate fully in the public world; knowing only...

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Riches for the Poor: The Clemente Course in the Humanities

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Overview

"You've been cheated," Earl Shorris tells a classroom of poor people in New York City.
"Rich people learn the humanities; you didn't. . . . It is generally accepted in America that the liberal arts and humanities in particular belong to the elite. I think you're the elite." In this groundbreaking work, Shorris examines the nature of poverty in America today. Why are people poor, and why do they stay poor? Shorris argues that they lack politics, or the ability to participate fully in the public world; knowing only the immediacy and oppression of force, the poor remain trapped and isolated. To test his theory, Shorris creates an experimental school teaching the humanities to poor people, giving them the means to reflect and negotiate rather than react. The results are nothing short of astonishing. Originally published in hardcover under the title New American Blues.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320664
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 557,472
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Earl Shorris (1936–2012) is the author of many works of both fiction and non-fiction including Latinos, Under the Fifth Sun, In the Language of Kings, and Riches for the Poor. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Clinton for his founding of the Clemente Course in the Humanities®, Inc.

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Table of Contents

Intentions xiii
I. Richer Than Rockefeller 3
II. A Game of Poverty: Definitions 12
III. Born for Each Other 25
IV. The Golden Age of Poverty 34
V. The Surround of Force 40
VI. The Mirror of Force 50
VII. The Fallacy of Work 59
VIII. Citizenship by Exclusion 65
IX. Across Cultures 78
X. Political Inventions 85
XI. A Prison Epiphany 95
XII. Radical Humanism 101
XIII. The Clemente Experiment Begins 118
XIV. The Bard Course 159
XV. The Curriculum 173
XVI. Variations and Self-Criticism 216
XVII. Other Countries, Other Cultures 230
XVIII. Conclusion: A Dangerous Corollary 253
Appendix 257
Index 261
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