Why did I love this book?
Desmond describes in searing and vivid terms what it means to be poor today, and posits that poverty continues for the simple reason that some in America benefit from it.
Desmond manages the challenge of synthesizing an impassioned critique with facts and ethnography while crafting a narrative. Among other brilliant interventions, he reminds us, at a time when the social safety net gets routinely trashed, that the War on Poverty actually worked to diminish poverty.
His last chapter articulates an argument that I’ve often made: living with forms of inequality hurts all of us. It hurts those who suffer most immediately from them the most, of course. Might we imagine a world where we all benefit from not having to confront glaring inequalities every day?