Trash: A Poor White Journey

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Broadleaf Books
Publish Date
6.36 X 9.28 X 0.57 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Cedar Monroe has worked for over a decade as an activist and interfaith chaplain to people experiencing homelessness, incarceration, and addiction. Raised in a poor white rural community, Monroe has focused their work on understanding those communities, combating the effects of white nationalism, and cross-racial organizing for change. Monroe has an MDiv from Episcopal Divinity School and has been an Episcopal Church Foundation fellow. Monroe has been featured in several documentaries, including We Cried Power and America Will Be, and in articles in the Associated Press and the Seattle Times. They live with their wife in the Pacific Northwest.

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, alongside Bishop William J. Barber II, and she is the director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. She has been named by Politico as one of 50 "thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics," by Sojourners as one of 11 Women Shaping the Church, and by the Center for American Progress as one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch. Her work has been published in Boston Review, The Christian Century, CNN, The Guardian, Religion News Service, Sojourners, Time magazine, and others. She is the author of Always with Us? and coauthor of Revive Us Again. Theoharis is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary. She and her family live in New York City.


"Joining the ranks of Barbara Ehrenreich and Nancy Isenberg, interfaith chaplain Monroe recounts forgotten people dismissed and made invisible, tucked away in trailer parks and housing projects around the land.... An eloquent defense of the poor and dispossessed in America." --Kirkus Reviews

"Monroe speaks from experience and leads by example. Their testimony offers inside looks at an often overlooked and unfairly caricatured population." --Booklist

"Interfaith chaplain Cedar Monroe's Trash is a case study in the US's rampant poverty problem....delivered with delivered with eloquence, intensity, and urgency throughout." --Foreword Reviews

"A poignant glimpse into the lives and obstacles in an impoverished postindustrial county. Includes a call to action to unite and empathize with others." --Library Journal

"Here is a voice not often heard in our difficult but necessary conversations about justice and inclusion. Cedar Monroe reveals another layer of complexity in the quest for Beloved Community with this provocative study of poor white people in America, and the forces that seek to prevent them from claiming solidarity across racial lines with others who are poor." --The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and author of Love Is the Way and Songs My Grandma Sang

"Calling strongly, faithfully, clearly, and with tremendous heart for all poor and oppressed people to come together to demand change, Monroe insists that it is only when we reach across barriers of race and culture that we will come to realize the fullness of our power. This is an important, maybe even an essential book. Everyone should read it." --Rev. Cristina Rathbone, author of A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars

"Through the stories and lives of poor and dispossessed people encamped along the Chehalis River, Trash is an intimate portrayal of what it really means to be poor and white in this country. Monroe carries the unbearable loss of this community, beautifully and carefully. Yet Trash is not an appeal to pity or charity. Rather, it is a call to build organization and leadership in these forgotten places, among poor white communities. Given the threats of an emboldened white Christian nationalist movement to our democracy and fundamental rights, Monroe's call is a political necessity for our times." --Shailly Gupta Barnes, policy director for the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and the Poor People's Campaign

"This deeply moving book blends memoir, history, and a razor-sharp analysis of the havoc that capitalism and white supremacy have wreaked on the natural world and Indigenous, Black, brown, and poor white communities. Through remarkable storytelling, Cedar Monroe recounts what resistance, organizing, and solidarity look like in the margins of empire, and beckons us to learn from past movements, our elders, and the leadership of the disinherited. This book is a must-read." --Lindsey Krinks, author of Praying with Our Feet

"With raw energy and honesty, Cedar Monroe offers an insider's view of the culture and struggles of America's poor working class and bears witness to their search for hope, home, and dignity amid violence, drugs, eviction, and death. This is a must-read to understand the human sacrifice of the American empire." --Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, Dean's Professor of Systematic Theology, Candler School of Theology, Emory University