The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America
A sweeping and surprising new understanding of extreme poverty in America from the authors of the acclaimed $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.
“This book forces you to see American poverty in a whole new light.” (Matthew Desmond, author of Poverty, by America and Evicted)
Three of the nation’s top scholars – known for tackling key mysteries about poverty in America – turn their attention from the country’s poorest people to its poorest places. Based on a fresh, data-driven approach, they discover that America’s most disadvantaged communities are not the big cities that get the most notice. Instead, nearly all are rural. Little if any attention has been paid to these places or to the people who make their lives there.
This revelation set in motion a five-year journey across Appalachia, the Cotton and Tobacco Belts of the Deep South, and South Texas. Immersing themselves in these communities, poring over centuries of local history, attending parades and festivals, the authors trace the legacies of the deepest poverty in America—including inequalities shaping people’s health, livelihoods, and upward social mobility for families. Wrung dry by powerful forces and corrupt government officials, the “internal colonies” in these regions were exploited for their resources and then left to collapse.
The unfolding revelation in The Injustice of Place is not about what sets these places apart, but about what they have in common—a history of raw, intensive resource extraction and human exploitation. This history and its reverberations demand a reckoning and a commitment to wage a new War on Poverty, with the unrelenting focus on our nation’s places of deepest need.
KATHRYN J. EDIN is the William Church Osborne Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. The author of nine books, Edin is widely recognized for using both quantitative research and direct, in-depth observation to illuminate key mysteries about poverty: “In a field of poverty experts who rarely meet the poor, Edin usefully defies convention” (New York Times).
TIMOTHY J. NELSON is Director of Undergraduate Studies in Sociology and Lecturer of Public Affairs at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous articles on low-income fathers and is the co-author, with Edin, of the award-winning Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City.
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: 08/08/2023 - 12:00am
On Sale: 08/08/2023 - 12:00am