Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

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Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
New Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.8 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author
Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America (The New Press). A top advisor to Senator Robert F. Kennedy from 1964 to 1968, he went on to fill various roles in President Bill Clinton's administration, from which he famously resigned in protest after Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform legislation. He lives in Washington, DC.
Praise for Not a Crime to Be Poor
Awarded "Special Recognition" by the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Book & Journalism Awards

Finalist for the American Bar Association's 2018 Silver Gavel Book Award

Named one of the "10 books to read after you've read Evicted" by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Named one of the "Top 50 hardcover nonfiction titles for 2017" by the Boswell and Books

"[Not a Crime to Be Poor is] a powerful investigation into the ways the United States has addressed poverty. . . . Lucid and troubling."
--Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, in The Chronicle of Higher Education

"A hard-hitting argument for reform. . . . An impassioned call for an 'overarching movement' for justice."
--Kirkus Reviews

"This compelling, insightful examination of how we demonize the poor and sustain poverty through our misguided policies is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the demands of social justice in America. Sharp, critical analysis of an issue too frequently ignored."
--Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

"An extraordinary exposé of the criminalization of poverty, a vivid explanation of its many guises, and an inspiring call and guide to reform. Over the past half century no one has been more committed to struggles against impoverishment and its cruel consequences than Peter Edelman. Not a Crime to Be Poor is another chapter in his admirable career."
--Randall Kennedy, professor, Harvard Law School

"A comprehensive, readable, and shocking examination of the criminalization of poverty, and punishments that consist of fines and fees the poor cannot afford and conditions they cannot meet."
--Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights

"A chilling exposé of how America's courts, once bastions of justice, now routinely degrade themselves, and the nation, by ruthlessly extracting resources from our nation's most vulnerable citizens, rendering it a crime to be too poor to pay. It also names names--both the names of the villains who chose to exploit the poor and the heroes who fight back. Please read this book."
--Kathryn Edin, co-author of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

"The intersection of race, poverty and the criminal justice system is compellingly examined in Peter Edelman's new book, Not a Crime to Be Poor. It should be required reading for all those who seek equal justice in our nation."
--Judge Jonathan Lippman, former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals

Praise for Peter Edelman's So Rich, So Poor
"Peter Edelman brings blinding lucidity to a subject usually mired in prejudice and false preconceptions."
--Barbara Ehrenreich

"If there is one essential book on the great tragedy of poverty and inequality in America, this is it. Peter Edelman is masterful on the issue. With a real-world grasp of politics and the economy, Edelman makes a brilliantly compelling case for what can and must be done."
--Bob Herbert

"A competent, thorough assessment from a veteran expert in the field."
--Kirkus Reviews