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Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond Cover
Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond
Published at:
2023-03-21
Categories:
Social Science
Publisher:
Random House
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## Poverty, by America: A Synopsis In his searing indictment of American inequality, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond tackles a paradox at the heart of the world's richest nation: the persistence of widespread poverty. "Poverty, by America" goes beyond familiar narratives, arguing that the issue isn't a lack of resources or policy solutions – we already know how to eliminate poverty. The real obstacle, Desmond argues, lies in our collective unwillingness to care enough to act. Drawing on years of research and weaving together personal stories with sharp sociological analysis, Desmond takes readers on a journey through the lives of those trapped in the cycle of poverty. He explores the interconnected crises of social isolation, mass incarceration, inadequate housing, domestic violence, and the opioid epidemic, demonstrating how these issues are both symptoms and perpetuators of poverty. Desmond challenges the prevailing narratives surrounding poverty in America. He critiques liberals for attributing it solely to insurmountable structural barriers, thereby absolving individuals of responsibility. Similarly, he criticizes conservatives for overemphasizing personal failings and poor choices, ignoring the systemic disadvantages that keep people trapped. The crux of Desmond's argument lies in the concept of "exploitation." He argues that the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by many Americans come at the direct expense of the poor. This exploitation manifests in numerous ways, from predatory lending practices to substandard housing conditions and wages that fail to meet basic needs. Ultimately, "Poverty, by America" is a call to action. Desmond implores readers to abandon comfortable narratives and confront the uncomfortable truth: poverty persists because we allow it to. He challenges us to recognize our shared responsibility and embrace a vision of community where everyone thrives. **FAQs:** **Q: Who is this book for?** A: This book is for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of poverty in America. Whether you're a policymaker, student, activist, or simply someone who wants to be better informed, this book offers a compelling and accessible analysis of this pressing issue. **Q: What makes this book different from other books about poverty?** A: Desmond moves beyond the usual partisan debates about poverty. He challenges both liberal and conservative orthodoxies, offering a fresh perspective that emphasizes our collective responsibility and the exploitative systems that perpetuate poverty. **Q: Does the book offer solutions?** A: While Desmond doesn't offer a prescriptive list of solutions, he argues that the solutions already exist. He emphasizes that the key lies in shifting our perspectives, recognizing the humanity of those living in poverty, and building a society that prioritizes the well-being of all its members. **Q: Is this book depressing?** A: While the book doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of poverty, it ultimately offers a message of hope. By highlighting the systemic nature of the problem and calling for collective action, Desmond inspires readers to believe that change is possible.

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