A New York Times Notable Book of the Year The story of a kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't even think exists -- from a leading national poverty expert who "defies convention." (The New York Times) Jessica Compton's family of four would have no income if she didn't donate 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 before -- households surviving on virtually no cash 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, was one and a half million households, including about three million children. Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Through this book's eye-opening analysis and many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. $2.00 a Day delivers provocative ideas to our national debate on income inequality. "Powerful . . . Presents a deeply moving human face that brings the stunning numbers to life. It is an explosive book . . . The stories will make you angry and break your heart." -- American Prospect "Harrowing . . . [An] important and heart-rending book, in the tradition of Michael Harrington's The Other America." -- Los Angeles Times
KATHRYN J. EDIN, professor of sociology and public health at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of Promises I Can't Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage. H. LUKE SHAEFER is an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.