By Stephen Pimpare
During this compulsively readable social historical past, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the point of view of negative and welfare-reliant americans from the massive urban to the agricultural nation-state. He specializes in how the terrible have created group, secured safeguard, and located nutrients and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect.
Through prodigious archival study and lucid research, Pimpare info the ways that charity and reduction for the negative were inseparable, as a rule, from the scorn and disapproval of these who could aid them. within the wealthy and infrequently magnificent ancient tales he has accumulated from the terrible in the United States, Pimpare overturns any uncomplicated conclusions approximately how the bad see themselves or what it appears like to be poor—and he indicates essentially that the bad are all too usually acutely aware that charity comes with a value. it's that cost that Pimpare eloquently questions during this booklet, reminding us via robust anecdotes, a few heart-wrenching and a few unusually funny, that poverty isn't really easily an ethical failure.
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Additional resources for A People's History of Poverty in America
Or we’re drug addicts. Or we’re chronic alcoholics and don’t mean no good to ourselves or anybody. Since we’re homeless they think there’s got to be something wrong with us, you know. , late 1980s People in the shelters feel that they are choking. The physical sense of being trapped, compacted, and concealed—but, even more, the vivid recognition that they are the objects of society’s avoidance or contempt—creates a panic that they can’t get air enough into their lives, into their lungs. This panic is endemic.
And my brother recently lost his job. So when we have something where we can help them, we go ahead and give them a couple of dollars for gas in their car so they can find a job. ’Cause we know what it feels like when you don’t have it. And when we’re low, they’ll give to us. And nobody asks anybody to pay it back. ”86 Atypical and female-headed families are not an innovation of the twentieth century. 87 The strategies women used in the first decades of the twentieth century follow familiar patterns, as we see in Beverly Stadum’s examination of three hundred women who were aided by the Minneapolis Charity Organization Society; the kinship networks that made survival possible—grandmothers, aunts, and sisters sharing food, money, fuel, care giving, and housing—differ little from those described by Stack.
Areas of concentrated and persistent poverty are seen by business as unattractive, which reduces competition (and thus raises prices for goods and services, or requires poor people to travel outside the neighborhood for them) and reduces employment opportunities; that, in turn, reduces the networking opportunities that are so important to successful job seeking. 19 The causes of concentrated poverty today are less clear, although sociologist William Julius Wilson’s explanation, despite challenges and refinements, still predominates: middle-class “white flight” from the central cities to the suburbs sapped cities of tax revenue from higher earners and left behind a poorer population that contributed less in taxes and needed more in public services.
A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare