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  • Published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.
  • Year Published: 2015
  • Description: 210 pages ; 24 cm
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780544303188
  • 0544303180
  • 9780544811959

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$2.00 a day : living on almost nothing in America

by Edin, Kathryn J.

There are currently 3 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Display, 339.46 Ed

Westgate call number: Adult Book / Nonfiction / Social Science / Sociology / Edin, Kathryn J

Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Floor, Malletts Adult

Additional Details

"A revelatory account of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't think it exists. Jessica Compton's family of four would have no cash income unless she donated plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends. After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn't seen since the mid-1990s -- households surviving on virtually no income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to 1.5 million American households, including about 3 million children. Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Edin has "turned sociology upside down" (Mother Jones) with her procurement of rich -- and truthful -- interviews. Through the book's many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. The authors illuminate a troubling trend: a low-wage labor market that increasingly fails to deliver a living wage, and a growing but hidden landscape of survival strategies among America's extreme poor. More than a powerful expose, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality. "

Community Reviews

A bit long, but worth it

The book was a bit long and dragged out in my opinion, but the content is incredibly important to read. It is eye-opening to see just what some people live through every day, and I'm very glad Eden & Shaefer took the time to tell the tales of these marginalized people.

Must Read

This important book is very well researched and written, is easy to read, and delivers a powerful indictment of the US economic system. The qualitative study stands on vast statistical data. The story the book tells is shameful - but the authors can suggest a path of hope.

And the second author, Luke Shaefer, is local - at U-M.

Read This Book.

$2.00 a Day

The information relayed in the book $2.00 a Day is truly distressing. In a country as prosperous as the U.S., the details relayed are both shameful and outrageous!!

Informative AND readable

This is the 2017 Washtenaw (County) Reads book, and it's excellent. It strikes a fantastic balance between personal stories and thorough research. It explores the historical roots of deep, cashless poverty and what that looks like in different cities around the country. It talks about the real survival strategies that individuals and families use to survive these times, and what policies would need to be put in place to change the reality, as well as what that would accomplish for the individuals and for communities as a whole. And it's very, very readable.

Highly recommended. Very, very highly recommended.

The most approachable of academic writers

I love Katheryn Edin's books. She's somewhere between Barbara Ehrenreich (journalist with academic roots) and my professors' books I read in college (doing what they had to do to get tenure). If you're looking for a Nickel and Dimed-for-2017 for yourself or your college-aged kid, this is it! Her other older books are great too (Promises I Can Keep--on single motherhood, Doing the Best I Can--fatherhood, but might be dated now). A good book to read while you wait for your hold on Evicted (by Matthew Desmond and SO SO GOOD).

A Different Perspective

This book was one of the most insightful nonfictions I have read so far this year. I honestly had no idea of the conditions that low-income families had to endure every single day and the feeling of being constantly trapped with no other alternatives out. Even though there were some chapters that felt really long, I really appreciated the ending that provided economically feasible adjustments that can be made in out government system that would be able to help these people.

Overall rating: 4.25 stars

Eye Opening

I really enjoyed reading this book! I love qualitative studies because you can see stories about real people instead of just numbers. It helped me realize some of the struggles that the lowest socioeconomic class is facing.

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