The Rich and the Rest of Us

The Rich and the Rest of Us

A Poverty Manifesto

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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Record unemployment and rampant corporate avarice, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunities in an increasingly paralyzed nation--these are the realities of 21st-century America, land of the free and home of the new middle class poor. Award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation's leading democratic intellectuals, co-hosts of Public Radio's Smiley & West , now take on the "P" word--poverty.

The Rich and the Rest of Us is the next step in the journey that began with "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience." Smiley and West's 18-city bus tour gave voice to the plight of impoverished Americans of all races, colors, and creeds. With 150 million Americans persistently poor or near poor, the highest numbers in over five decades, Smiley and West argue that now is the time to confront the underlying conditions of systemic poverty in America before it's too late.

By placing the eradication of poverty in the context of the nation's greatest moments of social transformation-- such as the abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage, and the labor and civil rights movements--ending poverty is sure to emerge as America's 21st -century civil rights struggle.

As the middle class disappears and the safety net is shredded, Smiley and West, building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., ask us to confront our fear and complacency with 12 poverty changing ideas. They challenge us to re-examine our assumptions about poverty in America--what it really is and how to eliminate it now.

Publisher: New York : Smiley Books ; Carlsbad, Calif. : Distributed by Hay House, Inc., 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781401940638
Branch Call Number: 339.4609 SMILEY
Characteristics: 222 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: West, Cornel


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Sep 16, 2015

The average American earns just $33,000 per year and this income has remained unchanged over the past 20 years. Fifty million Americans live in poverty and rely on food stamps to stave off hunger. More than 67,000 veterans are homeless. The authors offer a 12-point poverty-to-prosperity manifesto to restore "humanity" to their nation. Useful lessons for neighbours too.

Jun 28, 2012

READ THIS BOOK! What a terrific explanation of poverty in America and what can be done about it!


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Sep 17, 2015

"When people are starving, when people have no hope, democracy is threatened. An external threat is not our major concern. It's the internal rot that's ominously heading the country toward the point of no return." (p. 126)


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