From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities.
In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter--Annawadi's "most-everything girl"--will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call "the full enjoy."
But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.
With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers "carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.
Like Dave Eggers's Zeitoun and Alexander Masters's Stuart, this is a tour de force of narrative reportage.
Mohammed Ashraf studied biology, became a butcher, a tailor, and an electrician's apprentice; now he is a homeless day laborer in the heart of old Delhi. How did he end up this way? In an astonishing debut, Aman Sethi brings him and his indelible group of friends to life through their adventures and misfortunes in the Old Delhi Railway Station, the harrowing wards of a tuberculosis hospital, an illegal bar made of cardboard and plywood, and into Beggars Court and back onto the streets.
In a time of global economic strain, this is an unforgettable evocation of persistence in the face of poverty in one of the world's largest cities. Sethi recounts Ashraf's surprising life story with wit, candor, and verve, and A Free Man becomes a moving story of the many ways a man can be free.
Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.
A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an assest based approach rather than a needs based approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and microenterprise development (MED) is explored.
In 1995, academics, politicians, entrepreneurs, union leaders and other civic leaders gathered to discuss the present and emerging challenges in resolving issues of poverty and inequality in Latin America. This resulting multidisciplinary study integrates analytical work with advice.
An informed and excoriating attack on the tragic waste, futility, and hubris of the West's efforts to date to improve the lot of the so-called developing world, with constructive suggestions on how to move forward.
William Easterly's "The White Man's Burden" is about what its author calls the twin tragedies of global poverty. The first, of course, is that so many are seemingly fated to live horribly stunted, miserable lives and die such early deaths. The second is that after fifty years and more than $2.3 trillion in aid from the West to address the first tragedy, it has shockingly little to show for it. We'll never solve the first tragedy, Easterly argues, unless we figure out the second.
The ironies are many: We preach a gospel of freedom and individual accountability, yet we intrude in the inner workings of other countries through bloated aid bureaucracies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that are accountable to no one for the effects of their prescriptions. We take credit for the economic success stories of the last fifty years, like South Korea and Taiwan, when in fact we deserve very little. However, we reject all accountability for pouring more than half a trillion dollars into Africa and other regions and trying one "big new idea" after another, to no avail. Most of the places in which we've meddled are in fact no better off or are even worse off than they were before. Could it be that we don't know as much as we think we do about the magic spells that will open the door to the road to wealth?
Absolutely, William Easterly thunders in this angry, irreverent, and important book. He contrasts two approaches: (1) the ineffective planners' approach to development-never able to marshal enough knowledge or motivation to get the overambitious plans implemented to attain the plan's arbitrary targets and (2) a more constructive searchers' approach-always on the lookout for piecemeal improvements to poor peoples' well-being, with a system to get more aid resources to those who find things that work. Once we shift power and money from planners to searchers, there's much we can do that's focused and pragmatic to improve the lot of millions, such as public health, sanitation, education, roads, and nutrition initiatives. We need to face our own history of ineptitude and learn our lessons, especially at a time when the question of our ability to "build democracy," to transplant the institutions of our civil society into foreign soil so that they take root, has become one of the most pressing we face.
Vancouver, host of the 2010 Olympics, is a city of startling contrasts. A prosperous urban center, it is also home to the Downtown Eastside, Canada's poorest neighborhood and one of North America's most notorious districts, a bleak landscape transformed by addiction and poverty. But many of its residents defy these surroundings, driven by a sense of community, kinship, and, above all, hope. This book is a project of the Pivot Legal Society, which supplied cameras to the Downtown Eastside's residents to document their own lives; the result, accompanied by moving first-person narratives, is an intimate social documentary of an at-risk urban community that will change one's view of society as we know it, and of those who are forced to live in its shadows.
...deeply felt and cogently argued...Hughes makes a powerful case that deserves a respectful hearing. --The Financial Times
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes argues that the best way to fight income inequality is with a radically simple idea: a guaranteed income for working people, paid for by the one percent.
The first half of Chris Hughes's life played like a movie reel right out of the "American Dream." He grew up in a small town in North Carolina. His parents were people of modest means, but he was accepted into an elite boarding school and then Harvard, both on scholarship. There, he met Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz and became one of the co-founders of Facebook.
In telling his story, Hughes demonstrates the powerful role fortune and luck play in today's economy. Through the rocket ship rise of Facebook, Hughes came to understand how a select few can become ultra-wealthy nearly overnight. He believes the same forces that made Facebook possible have made it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet.
To help people who are struggling, Hughes proposes a simple, bold solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students, paid for by the one percent. The way Hughes sees it, a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty and stabilize America's middle class. Money--cold hard cash with no strings attached--gives people freedom, dignity, and the ability to climb the economic ladder. A guaranteed income for working people is the big idea that's missing in the national conversation.
This book, grounded in Hughes's personal experience, will start a frank conversation about how we earn in modern America, how we can combat income inequality, and ultimately, how we can give everyone a fair shot.
A profile of impoverished children in Mott Haven, South Bronx, reveals their difficult lives and poses questions about the value of such children to an unsupportive nation
In honor of the thirtieth anniversary of its first publication, we are happy to reissue Nancy Milio's 9226 Kercheval, a groundbreaking book which analyzes the success of the Mom and Tots Center in urban Detroit in the late 1960s. At the time of its first publication, Robert Coles called the book rare and extremely important and remarked, I can only hope that all those concerned with urban problems might read this unusual and inspiring book. Milio adds a new Preface to update readers on the fate of the center and the issues of poverty and health care which continue today.
From the original Preface:
This is the story of a venture in the ghetto, of the development of a ghetto health project which still lives, and of its meaning as I saw it as director. It is a tale told twice, in alternating sections: first as a factual account of events, then as a personal interpretation of those events--the story from the inside of the white outsider who was present. . . . The unfolding is literally and allegorically a story of involvement and change, the evolution of a new institution and of the people who made it. It is, in its parallel construction here, the public and private stories behind a benignly named storefront in a Detroit ghetto, the Mom and Tots Center, and of the inevitable intertwining of the two. . . . This book does say at least two things. First that health, as quality of life, as 'wholeness, unfolding, ' must be mirrored in the process of undertakings intended to improve health. And that those who would involve others, especially the poor, in the process of healthful change, must themselves be involved: the one who would change others must himself be changed.
Nancy Milio is Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Professor of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the author of Engines of Empowerment: Using Information Technology to Create Healthy Communities and Challenge Public Policy and Nutrition Policy for Food Rich Countries: A Strategic Analysis, among others.
The last decade has brought sharp adjustment and rising poverty for most of the developing world. Adjustment and Poverty: Options and Choices examines the major causes and results of this situation, including:*the relationship between structural adjustment and poverty;
*the extent to which the situation was brought about by internal and/or external policies;
*the impact of the IMF and World Bank on adjusting countries;
*government tax and spending policies - with a particular focus on social sector spending;
*the possiblity of better policies in the future.