What are we reading at AVLF?

Interested in learning more about the issues AVLF is tackling? Below you’ll find a work-in-progress reading list of books, articles, and podcasts we find illuminating and inspiring.

Think we missed something? Feel free to email Ashleigh.  

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America
by Linda Tirado

Linda Tirado writes compellingly about her first-hand experience of poverty and the series of Catch-22s that it creates.  Smart, accessible, funny, and powerful – this is a must-read for anyone who is ready to look behind the stereotype of the “lazy” poor person to find the underlying truth.

by Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond writes vividly about the struggles of the low-income tenants he met while conducting his doctoral research in Milwaukee.  Through their stories, he illuminates the large and small injustices that characterize our modern-day eviction system in Milwaukee and beyond.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
by Richard Rothstein

This meticulously-researched book lays bare how our federal, state, and local governments intentionally prevented black and white people from living in the same neighborhoods.  Each chapter addresses a different facet of segregation – from public housing restrictions to zoning ordinances.  By the end of the book, no reader can deny that segregated neighborhoods are an effect of decades of policy choices.

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
by: Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

“To be without cash in America is to be cut off from society, disconnected from the resources that could help you get out of those desperate straits and move ahead.” This well-researched book gives readers a tour of extreme destitution in our own backyards – of families and children getting by on two dollars a day in the wake of welfare reform.

Busted: America’s Poverty Myths
A Podcast Series from WNYC

This engrossing series of podcast episodes systematically debunks several of the largest poverty stereotypes and myths: that poverty stems from a poor work ethic, that hard work always leads to success, and that the safety net catches those who need it.

There Are No Children Here
by Alex Kotlowitz

This is the moving and powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect.

The Working Poor: Invisible in America
by David K. Shipler

Although “working poor” should be an oxymoron, far too many work low-wage jobs that fail to sustain them or their families.  David Shipler brings this truth to light with his stories about many workers stuck in the trap of poverty.