Synopses & Reviews
Twenty-five million Americans nearly 9 percent of the U.S. population rely on food pantries. Another 13 million aren t linked to a food distribution network, and 14 million children are at risk of going hungry on any given day. Moreover, the faltering economy is increasing the number of American families that don t know where their next meals are coming from.Breadline USA treats this crisis not only as matter of failed policies, but also as a portrait of real human suffering. Investigative reporter Sasha Abramsky focuses attention on the people behind the statistics the families caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Breadline USA is a vivid reminder of the fate to which many more Americans may be subject without urgent action.
"Abramsky writes in the best tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich, Studs Terkel, and John Steinbeck. The fruit of his patient and compassionate research, Breadline USA
, is required reading for all of us concerned to banish, forever, the long hidden legacy of hunger in America."—Raj Patel
, author of Stuffed and Starved
"We have come a long way since the Dust Bowl era, when hunger was a pressing national concern. Or have we? Abramsky challenges our conventional wisdom with an impassioned plea to take hunger and food production seriously again. In his book, hunger becomes a way to gauge where we are as a civilized nation. Breadline USA is an eye-opening account and, more important, a call to action."
—Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day
Trapped in a triangle of the housing market collapse, rising energy costs, and an increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system, America's working poor are now battling an even more formidable enemy: hunger. This time, the battle is taking place well outside of the media spotlight, which has focused on obesity, another food-related epidemic affecting the poor. Breadline USA tells the stories of Americans in all types of communities who struggle to put any type of food on the table come the end of the month when money runs out and the social safety net isn't there to catch them.
About the Author
Sasha Abramsky is a freelance journalist. His work has appeared in The Nation
, The Atlantic Monthly
, New York Magazine
, The Village Voice
, and Rolling Stone
. Originally from England and a graduate of Oxford University, he has since adopted his mother’s homeland of America and now lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife, daughter, and son. He has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. In 2000, he was awarded a Soros Society, Crime, and Communities Media Fellowship, and he is currently a senior fellow at the New York City-based Demos Foundation. He is the author of five books: Breadline USA
(PoliPointPress, 2009), Inside Obama’s Brain (
Penguin, 2009), American Furies
(Beacon Press, 2007), Conned
(The New Press, 2006), and Hard Time Blues
(St. Martin’s Press, 2002).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Driving to Hunger
Chapter 2: When the Month Is Longer Than the Money
Chapter 3: Trickle-up Poverty
Chapter 4: Big Box Special
Chapter 5: Grampa's Flipping Burgers at the Drive-Through
Chapter 6: Grapes of Wrath Regurgitated
Short first-person interludes appear between chapters