The Working Poor: Invisible in America

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2005 - Business & Economics - 329 pages
191 Reviews
“Nobody who works hard should be poor in America,” writes Pulitzer Prize winner David Shipler. Clear-headed, rigorous, and compassionate, he journeys deeply into the lives of individual store clerks and factory workers, farm laborers and sweat-shop seamstresses, illegal immigrants in menial jobs and Americans saddled with immense student loans and paltry wages. They are known as the working poor.

They perform labor essential to America’s comfort. They are white and black, Latino and Asian--men and women in small towns and city slums trapped near the poverty line, where the margins are so tight that even minor setbacks can cause devastating chain reactions. Shipler shows how liberals and conservatives are both partly right–that practically every life story contains failure by both the society and the individual. Braced by hard fact and personal testimony, he unravels the forces that confine people in the quagmire of low wages. And unlike most works on poverty, this book also offers compelling portraits of employers struggling against razor-thin profits and competition from abroad. With pointed recommendations for change that challenge Republicans and Democrats alike, The Working Poor stands to make a difference.

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Educational failure leads to poverty. - Goodreads
Easy to read, interesting look into the working class. - Goodreads
the life stories are great. - Goodreads
Finally, his writing is superb. - Goodreads
So difficult to read, yet so important. - Goodreads
Points made with insight, acuity and passion. - Goodreads

Review: The Working Poor: Invisible in America

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

Gut-wrenching & well-written. Shipler does a good job of illustrating meaningless statistics with meaningful stories that personalize the numbers. Not an uplifting beach book, though I feel I am more compassionate that I was before I read it. Read full review

Review: The Working Poor: Invisible in America

User Review  - Joe Thacker - Goodreads

Just an amazing book! What I learned the most that really changed my whole thinking on poverty is we all have bad luck but how lower income households have no safety net to handle the bad luck, so ... Read full review

About the author (2005)

David K. Shipler worked for the New York Times from 1966 to 1988, reporting from New York, Saigon, Moscow, and Jerusalem before serving as chief diplomatic correspondent in Washington, D.C. He has also written for The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of three other books–Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams; the Pulitzer Prize–winning Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land; and A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America. Mr. Shipler, who has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has taught at Princeton University, at American University in Washington, D.C., and at Dartmouth College. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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