November 14, 2017
Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty
by Scott W. Allard
Between 2000 and 2015, almost every major metropolitan area experienced a significant increase in the suburban poor population. Two-thirds of those regions now find the majority of the poor population in the suburbs. An examination of the rise of poverty in the suburbs is the focus of Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty in America (2017, Russell Sage Foundation Press).
Using a unique combination of data from a range of sources—the Census Bureau, administrative data from state safety net programs, information about local non-profit human service financing, as well as field work and in-depth interviews in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.—his book offers important original insights into the interconnections among place, poverty, and the safety net in contemporary America.
September 27, 2017
Behind from the Start: How America's War on the Poor
by Lenette Azzi-Lessing
Behind from the Start: How America's War on the Poor is Harming Our Most Vulnerable Children describes the link between America's shaming, blaming, and marginalizing of poor parents, and our nation’s punitive welfare policies that jeopardize the life chances of vulnerable young children and the resulting consequences.
Drawing on knowledge from neuroscience, media studies, and public policy, as well as the author's experiences as a practicing social worker, Behind from the Start offers an important take on both the problem and promising solutions.
June 14, 2017
Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future
by Thomas M. Shapiro
Drawing on two sets of interviews with 137 U.S. families of different ethnicities and levels of income over a decade, Toxic Inequality explores the fault lines of race in the landscape of inequality. Making the convincing argument that class must not eclipse race as an explanation of wealth inequality, sociologist Thomas Shapiro explains how the dangerous combination of wealth disparities and racial inequities—what he terms "toxic inequality" — combine to ensnare families in a socio-economic trap.
September 13, 2016
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Through the heartbreaking stories of eight families living in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, Evicted describes the economic hardships and extreme poverty of renting and raising a family on almost nothing. Based on embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, the book helps readers understand what extreme poverty and economic exploitation mean while providing promising ideas for addressing a uniquely American problem.
Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of the award-winning book On the Fire Line, co-author of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant.