So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in Americaby Peter Edelman
In this “accessible and inspiring
Income disparities in our wealthy nation are now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top.
In this “accessible and inspiring analysis” (Angela Glover Blackwell), lifelong anti–poverty advocate Peter Edelman assesses how the United States can have such an outsized number of unemployed and working poor despite important policy gains. He delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics and takes a particular look at young people of color for whom the possibility of productive lives is too often lost on the way to adulthood. In a timely new introduction, Edelman discusses the significance of Obama’s reelection—including the rediscovery of the word “poverty”—as well as the continuing attack on the poor from the right.
“Engaging and informative” (William Julius Wilson), “powerful and eloquent” (Wade Henderson), “a national treasure composed by a wise man” (George McGovern), and “a great source for summaries of our country’s antipoverty program” (Publishers Weekly), So Rich, So Poor is crucial reading for anyone who wants to understand the most critical American dilemma of the twenty-first century.
"If there is one essential book on the great tragedy of poverty and inequality in America, this is it. Peter Edelman is masterful on the issue. With a realworld grasp of politics and the economy, Edelman makes a brilliantly compelling case for what can and must be done."
"Before we have one more discussion of how America can combat its persistent and growing levels of poverty, could everyone please read this book?"
"If you are a layperson, [So Rich, So Poor] is a chance to absorb more than you probably ever realized is at the heart of the fight against poverty; if you are someone who has long been involved in the fight against poverty, I have little doubt you will find new ideas, angles, or inspiration in these pages."
Greg Kaufmann, The Nation
"[Edelman’s] compassionate and singular voice awakens our conscience and calls us to action."
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What People are Saying About This
"Bobby believed that, ‘as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.’ Much has changed in forty-five years, but as Peter eloquently reminds us, far too many Americans remain trapped in the web of economic injustice. His compassionate and singular voice awakens our conscience and calls us to action."
"Peter Edelman brings blinding lucidity to a subject usually mired in prejudice and false preconceptions. Before we have one more discussion of how America can combat its persistent and growing levels of poverty, could everyone please read this book?"
"If there is one essential book on the great tragedy of poverty and inequality in America, this is it. Peter Edelman is masterful on the issue. With a real-world grasp of politics and the economy, Edelman makes a brilliantly compelling case for what can and must be done."
Meet the Author
Peter Edelman is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. A top adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy from 1964 to 1968, he went on to fill various roles in President Bill Clinton’s administration, from which he famously resigned in protest after Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform legislation. He lives in Washington, D.C.
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