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Escaping Poverty

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Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than 45 million people in America fall below the poverty line. Struggling to make ends meet, these individuals are familiar faces. You see them on the street, in the news, on TV, outside your house, on your way to work... They are your neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances and possibly even family. Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than 45 million people in America fall below the poverty line. Struggling to make ends meet, these individuals are familiar faces. You see them on the street, in the news, on TV, outside your house, on your way to work... They are your neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances and possibly even family. You may have even experienced a similar situation yourself. This book is for you. Escaping Poverty is a collection of stories from those who have felt what it is like to be one of the 'have-nots' and are still trying to make it in America. They have not given up on their dreams. Nor should you. Some share how they were able to rise from abject poverty to become self-made millionaires. Others relate their daily struggles as they try to blend in with the "middle class" hiding the 'secret' of their financial hardship. Still others escaped life on the streets from drug-addiction. Each person has a unique story to tell about their journey. Escaping Poverty is a truly worthwhile read about a subject to which many can relate.


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Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than 45 million people in America fall below the poverty line. Struggling to make ends meet, these individuals are familiar faces. You see them on the street, in the news, on TV, outside your house, on your way to work... They are your neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances and possibly even family. Despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than 45 million people in America fall below the poverty line. Struggling to make ends meet, these individuals are familiar faces. You see them on the street, in the news, on TV, outside your house, on your way to work... They are your neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances and possibly even family. You may have even experienced a similar situation yourself. This book is for you. Escaping Poverty is a collection of stories from those who have felt what it is like to be one of the 'have-nots' and are still trying to make it in America. They have not given up on their dreams. Nor should you. Some share how they were able to rise from abject poverty to become self-made millionaires. Others relate their daily struggles as they try to blend in with the "middle class" hiding the 'secret' of their financial hardship. Still others escaped life on the streets from drug-addiction. Each person has a unique story to tell about their journey. Escaping Poverty is a truly worthwhile read about a subject to which many can relate.

46 review for Escaping Poverty

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    I read every story in this book of short memoirs over two days. I heartily recommend this book, not only to help the authors and enterprise, but to help the reader. Some of the tales are set in war-torn East Europe. Others in India. Some in South or Central America. Most are located in modern America. This is not the America I heard about as a child. This is an America which allows citizens to exist in bare, dire poverty. A shack, a tent, a van, a corner of a relative's apartment, was the obliga I read every story in this book of short memoirs over two days. I heartily recommend this book, not only to help the authors and enterprise, but to help the reader. Some of the tales are set in war-torn East Europe. Others in India. Some in South or Central America. Most are located in modern America. This is not the America I heard about as a child. This is an America which allows citizens to exist in bare, dire poverty. A shack, a tent, a van, a corner of a relative's apartment, was the obligatory family home. One or both parents worked full time and could just put beans and rice on the table. Some families accepted state aid, some were foolishly too proud. We also read of a little girl in a developing country who had no blankets, so she had to sleep betwen the cadavers her gravedigger father was obliged to bring home. She had pneumonia. The tone of the tales is entirely positive, if occasionally bitter. Hard work is a strong theme. Getting a better job, which usually meant education, is a constant. College generally meant debt. Pity the family who finally got out of poverty only to lose everything in the global collapse, or to a devastating fire, or because a corrupt government would not pay for work done. Many of the authors now earn money by writing or graphic design. Broadband is bringing genuinely equal opportunity at last. I notice that writing is empowering women to earn their own incomes from home. Other authors achieved degrees at significant cost, but some had to take a further degree to get or change a job. Well done to all. We are also told that you don't need status symbols and shopping in order to be happy, and it's better to buy your home and provide for retirement - with which I heartily agree. The standard of preparation of this book is professional. A few inspiring photos are included, and each story is headed by an uplifting quote, such as: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - WB Yeats. "Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today." - Tim Fargo, entrepreneur. Some people might buy the book for such quotes alone. If you enjoyed this book you may also be interested in: Nickle and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich I Am Not A Tractor by Susan Marquis This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein Disaster Capitalism by Anthony Lowenstein The Bankers by Shane Ross Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere by Paul Mason Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver The Disaster Profiteers by John Mutter and for inspiring daily quotes: Boss Bible by Chikamso Efobi. The publishers sent me an e-ARC. I was delighted to read and review in my own time. This is an unbiased review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reading Harbor

    ***Full Disclosure: Reading Harbor is the publisher of this book. The following are excerpts from reviews received on advanced reader copies: Reviewed By Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite "In an absolutely worthwhile new read released by publishers Reading Harbor, Escaping Poverty: Inspirational True Stories is a simply wonderful compendium of stories from individuals who have done just that. From those who are still struggling to those who have risen above poverty through education, thro ***Full Disclosure: Reading Harbor is the publisher of this book. The following are excerpts from reviews received on advanced reader copies: Reviewed By Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite "In an absolutely worthwhile new read released by publishers Reading Harbor, Escaping Poverty: Inspirational True Stories is a simply wonderful compendium of stories from individuals who have done just that. From those who are still struggling to those who have risen above poverty through education, through receiving a little help, or through sheer determination and the refusal to give up, readers will definitely find at least one, if not many, people whom they connect with. Many of the situations will come across as very familiar, and perhaps as something that the reader themselves has gone through. The people featured in the book, although coming from very different backgrounds and situations, have things in common: first, they have all experienced what it feels like to be one of the marginalized in our society, and second, they have all refused to give up and still continue to believe in the possibility of the American dream. I so, so enjoyed Escaping Poverty. As a social worker, many of these stories were echoes of those that I heard from the individuals and families that I worked with when I worked in homeless services in a rural community in the Midwestern United States. The book touched my heart, made me teary, and at times left me feeling jubilant, as people were able to describe how they broke the destructive cycle of poverty. I can truly recommend this book to any reader, and fervently hope that many will read it. I think that the perspective it gives is an important one - that many of those who are living in poverty are willing to do just about anything to get out of it; they are not the “lazy bums” that some would like to label them. I certainly hope that the publisher, Reading Harbor, will continue to work on efforts in this vein. I, for one, would absolutely be in line to read another book like this one." Reviewed by Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review" "Discussions of poverty in the U.S. typically adopt a sociological viewpoint, analyzing and pointing out influences on poverty and patterns among different ethnic groups - but few go so far as to point out how to escape these patterns; much less document the experiences of those who have succeeded. This is why Escaping Poverty stands out from the crowd in its subject area: its focus is on those who have escaped 'impossible' heritages and conditions, and its chapters pinpoint obstacles to success and how these individuals rose above them. Only some 30% beat the odds: this collection gathers their stories. Some of the stories hold similar qualities: of workers underpaid, under-employed, and lower-skilled. Others document life-changing decisions that led to poverty - and surprising lessons learned in the process ("A business can’t succeed if it is selfish. A business needs to deliver some kind of value. Otherwise, it is just this soulless, dream-crushing succubus that will drain your spirit and ruin you. Chasing after fumes is intoxicating and poisonous; it will fill you with regret.") What ultimately links all these presentations is their spirited first-person voices which examine not just the dispassionate term 'poverty', but how it is being conquered in each contributor's very different life. The chapter headings themselves delineate the boundaries of these discussions, from 'Still Trying to Escape' to 'Successfully Escapes with a Little Help', 'Successfully Escaped Through Education', and 'The Aftermath of Poverty', documenting lingering effects. Inspirational, thought-provoking and personal, these true-life accounts are recommended as a 'must have' anecdote to any third-party analysis of the state and sociology of poverty in modern-day America. It's here, with this collection and these accounts, that the real story truly begins."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    The stories in this collection are truly inspirational and they cover a broad spectrum of backgrounds, from the person from another country to members of U. S. minorities to the Caucasian that hit a streak of bad luck. People that suffer(ed) from emotional and mental disorders are also included. The stories are almost all written by the person with the experiences, in one case the author is the sister of the person that experienced the poverty. Many of them also experienced the social stigma o The stories in this collection are truly inspirational and they cover a broad spectrum of backgrounds, from the person from another country to members of U. S. minorities to the Caucasian that hit a streak of bad luck. People that suffer(ed) from emotional and mental disorders are also included. The stories are almost all written by the person with the experiences, in one case the author is the sister of the person that experienced the poverty. Many of them also experienced the social stigma of being poor, sometimes it was other children that expressed their disdain and at other times it was the silent ridicule of adults. For example, while using their WIC allotments at a grocery store when the other people in line were made aware of it. One of the saddest stories was one where the family lived in a poor neighborhood and tried to improve their situation by having a backyard garden and keeping their property neat. Some of their poor neighbors would yell derisive comments at them regarding their efforts. This is a set of snapshots of the wide variety of reasons for poverty in America (although there is a British story) as well as some of the ways in which a person can rise above it. That part is inspirational, but the reality is more unsettling. These people are not typical by any means, for they not only escaped poverty, they reached the point that they could write about it. That is of course a small percentage of the large numbers of people that struggle to make ends meet. This review was made available for free for review purposes

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wayne

    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was captured up in the events how each of the writers were able to arise above the situations that they found themselves in. So much of what they wrote about I can relate to. My family didn't have much, but I was able to reach each goal I set for myself. Retired after 32 years in the Air Force and now I design custom built homes. I have already recommended this book to several of my friends. Highly recommend this as a good read. I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was captured up in the events how each of the writers were able to arise above the situations that they found themselves in. So much of what they wrote about I can relate to. My family didn't have much, but I was able to reach each goal I set for myself. Retired after 32 years in the Air Force and now I design custom built homes. I have already recommended this book to several of my friends. Highly recommend this as a good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    Goodreads win. Will review once received. An interesting read. It really did have inspirational stories. It was quick and short. I loved how it covered a big background of different people. Worth the read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gertrud

    good book. I could not put it down. People content with their lives if they live in poverty or not

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bohdan Kot

    Love Your Poor Neighbor Soren Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me.” Too often society has dismissed the poor with a label. In “Escaping Poverty: Inspirational True Stories,” a collection of 38 writers, edited by Alex Norris and Karen Best, speak on the topic from various points of view that will make you pause on your judgment and perhaps reconcile the poor to you. The brief essays are personal, often raw, renditions of poverty in the U.S., but also visit locations such as India, Love Your Poor Neighbor Soren Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me.” Too often society has dismissed the poor with a label. In “Escaping Poverty: Inspirational True Stories,” a collection of 38 writers, edited by Alex Norris and Karen Best, speak on the topic from various points of view that will make you pause on your judgment and perhaps reconcile the poor to you. The brief essays are personal, often raw, renditions of poverty in the U.S., but also visit locations such as India, Grenada, and Croatia. This book is brilliant because it showcases how difficult the obstacles can be to overcome. This point of view can be hard to understand if one is not in such a position. The first person accounts do a thorough concise job, thus infusing the reader’s imagination, making the struggles and tribulations of the writer his own. Of course the usual clichés are also present: bad choices, laziness, addictions and lack of education. But these negative traits seem to present more so in the parents, not the children writing looking back at their difficult upbringing. The stories may be hard to fathom at times. The most notably being a child using cadavers to stay warm for lack of a blanket in the essay, “Staying Warm in the Cold,” by Bhavya Kaushik. “Escaping Poverty” is aptly titled, for to break the bondage of poverty is to be free. The book illustrates how limiting, like a prison cell, the life of the poor is. To break off those shackles takes a serous amount of mental determination and physical effort. Let’s end with a quote from the book’s introduction: Statistically speaking, 70% percent of the people who are “born poor” will “stay poor.” Arguably, poverty is a vicious cycle. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a way out of a life, if you have never seen it done. If your parents and friends don’t make much money, how are you supposed to learn the skills to make more? On the flip side though, there is that rare 30%, who are able to beat the odds. This book is their story. Book Review by Bohdan Kot Book Provided by Publisher Reading Harbor for Review Purposes

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rian Nejar

    An inspiring collection of life stories by those who've known dire financial deprivation first hand. While a few among the stories in the book approach some comprehension of the multifaceted nature of such life condition, most focus on just not having enough money to meet their needs. Can one not be rich, materially, and yet be poor in a number of other aspects? An interesting collection, nevertheless, of stories from within the wealthiest of nations. Diligence in editorial corrections can surel An inspiring collection of life stories by those who've known dire financial deprivation first hand. While a few among the stories in the book approach some comprehension of the multifaceted nature of such life condition, most focus on just not having enough money to meet their needs. Can one not be rich, materially, and yet be poor in a number of other aspects? An interesting collection, nevertheless, of stories from within the wealthiest of nations. Diligence in editorial corrections can surely enhance quality, and reader appreciation, of contributions within.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  10. 5 out of 5

    Phio

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bubbly

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debra

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ida Summitt

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessityjess

  15. 5 out of 5

    Demetri

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

  17. 5 out of 5

    BTC

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helen.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  21. 4 out of 5

    A. C. H..

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rosalie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Barlow

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zandt McCue

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amber Griffith

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  32. 4 out of 5

    Izabela

  33. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  34. 5 out of 5

    Ann Ellis

  35. 4 out of 5

    Laura Luzzi

  36. 5 out of 5

    Amie Gibson

  37. 5 out of 5

    Diana Skvorak

  38. 5 out of 5

    Carol Delk

  39. 4 out of 5

    Leland Lee

  40. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  41. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  42. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  43. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  44. 5 out of 5

    Todd Rumsey

  45. 4 out of 5

    Misty

  46. 5 out of 5

    Eugene

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