Browse our interactive catalog.

The absence of a strong movement for change is striking, especially given the diversity Abramsky finds as he maps the landscape of poverty. “There are people with no high school education who are poor,” he writes, “but there are also university graduates on food bank lines. There are people who are poor because they have made bad choices, gotten addicted to drugs, burned bridges with friends and family — and then there are people who have never taken a drug in their lives, who have huge social networks, and who still can’t make ends meet.”

| | | | | | | | | | | |

These renowned historians and experts chatted with students online. Read the transcripts.

Book Review: Seeing Like A State | Slate Star Codex

Those who don’t go to college would get money from the educational fund as “a near-guarantee of economic security in old age,” Abramsky writes. He also condemns federal cutbacks in funds for job training. But he does not lay out a plan for comprehensive vocational education, and he overlooks the increasing support for European-style apprenticeship programs being voiced by some American economists. Antipoverty measures need to help people who fall through the cracks of the private economy.

Seeing Like A State is the book G.K

Even with his book’s few lapses, Abramsky has invited serious rethinking and issued a significant call to action. Meanwhile, the American dream remains the American myth.

We’re interested in your feedback on this page. Tell us what you think.

CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency

Many of these people’s wounds are intimate and invisible to outsiders. Frank Nicci, a chef in Pennsylvania who lost his leg to diabetes and his job to his ill health, could not even afford to pick up his 8-year-old son for their monthly custodial visits. Lorenza and Jorge Caro, living in a storage room in New Mexico, regularly ran out of propane during the winter and relied on herbs and Tylenol for medical treatment. A 40-year-old mother in California, laid off from her job, had reached the lifetime limit for welfare and so was denied benefits after she had a new baby; she became homeless, and her older son had to quit college to support her. A Hawaii woman named Emily could never free herself from the legacy of a family racked by alcoholism and violence.

Sasha Abramsky’s ‘American Way of Poverty’ - The New …

Abramsky has written an ambitious book that both describes and prescribes. He reaches across a wide range of issues — including education, housing and criminal justice — in a sweeping panorama of poverty’s elements. Assembling them in one volume forces him to be superficial on occasion, but that price is worth paying to get the broad scope. In considering solutions, it’s crucial to understand how the disparate problems of poor families interact in mutual reinforcement.

Generation Why? | by Zadie Smith | The New York Review …

Knowledge of history is empowering. An event is but the furthest ripple of an ever-expanding wave that may have started eddying outward hundreds of years ago. One who "sees" history is able to harness the power of that wave's entire journey.

Browse Subjects | Harvard University Press

His observant reporting is less doctrinaire than these grand assertions. He travels the United States meeting the poor, whose wrenching tales he inserts in tight vignettes among data-driven analyses and acute dissections of government programs. The country he portrays is damaged by indifference at high levels — his American heroes are not in Congress or boardrooms — but is rescued here and there by caring citizens at the grass roots, their inventive programs achieving small successes.

America’s Culture Of Narcissism – Return Of Kings

Abramsky presents himself as an heir to Michael Harrington, whose book “The Other America,” published in 1962, awakened parts of the political establishment to the shadows of poverty beneath the country’s gleaming affluence. But that work came during the civil rights movement, which was already sensitizing Americans to social injustice. Fifty-one years later, injustice does not readily incite outrage. This is so even as millions of middle-class Americans, in free fall during the economic collapse that began around 2008, have had a taste of what it means to be poor.