A People s History of Poverty in America

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The New Press, Jun 7, 2011 - History - 336 pages
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In this compulsively readable social history, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the perspective of poor and welfare-reliant Americans from the big city to the rural countryside. He focuses on how the poor have created community, secured shelter, and found food and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect.

Through prodigious archival research and lucid analysis, Pimpare details the ways in which charity and aid for the poor have been inseparable, more often than not, from the scorn and disapproval of those who would help them. In the rich and often surprising historical testimonies he has collected from the poor in America, Pimpare overturns any simple conclusions about how the poor see themselves or what it feels like to be poor—and he shows clearly that the poor are all too often aware that charity comes with a price. It is that price that Pimpare eloquently questions in this book, reminding us through powerful anecdotes, some heart-wrenching and some surprisingly humorous, that poverty is not simply a moral failure.

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The Indignant Poor and the Constants of Relief
Survive My Brothers Keeper
Sleep A Place to Call Home
Eat Dumpster Diving
Work InDependence
Love Women and Children First
Respect The Price of Relief
Escape Black and Blue
Surrender A Culture of Poverty?
Resist Bread or Blood
Poor Math

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About the author (2011)

Stephen Pimpare is the author of The New Victorians: Poverty, Politics, and Propaganda in Two Gilded Ages (The New Press).

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