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H. Luke Shaefer, co-author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

  • Boswell Books 2559 N. Downer Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States of America (map)

Boswell and the Community Advocates at the Public Policy Institute proudly welcome H. Luke Shaefer to Boswell for a talk and signing of his latest book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, an analysis of the growing portion of American poor who live on an average of $2 per day. Kirkus calls the book “[a]n eye-opening account of the lives ensnared in the new poverty cycle” and Booklist “[a] close-up, heartbreaking look at rising poverty and income inequality in the U.S.”

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. In $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Edin teamed with H. 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 exposé, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality.

“This searing look at extreme poverty deftly mixes policy research and heartrending narratives...[m]ixing academic seriousness and deft journalistic storytelling, this work may well move readers to positive action.” —Publishers Weekly