Just a quick note to readers. Having written three books on crime and punishment themes, I’ve moved on. My new book is titled Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It.  The title is somewhat self-explanatory… but I’ll explain anyway: It’s the story of modern-day poverty in America, the sort of poverty that hides behind minimum wage and near-minimum wage employment and that effects tens of millions of Americans everyday. When low wages combine with high energy prices, high healthcare costs, housing bubbles followed by housing market implosions, and decades of head-in-the-sand economic policy emanating out of DC, the result is often “food insecurity.” What that means is that many millions of people in the United States worry about where to get their next meal, how to provide adequate nutrition to their children, how to stock their empty pantries.Breadline USA tells these stories. It is part reportage-based, part the story of my own months’-long experiment with low-income living and the impoverished diet that accompanies this.   Breadline USA is published by PoliPoint Press. Its official publication date is June 16th. It’s already available on Amazon. If you read this posting and are interested, please spread the word: on Twitter, FaceBook, etc. And, should you get the urge, perhaps you could go into bookstores and ask for a copy of Breadline USA.  

One Reply to “Breadline USA”

  1. Dear Mr. Abramsky: Congratulations on getting this work published. Thank you for doing the work.

    I’m a 50-year old man who is alone; no children, no wife or partner. I’m well-educated, but am as poor as the people described by your book. Poverty strikes the most “capable.” Capability is linked to mental health. Stability crushes like a tin can under the stressors that you enumerate in your book. I attest to this. We’re left with “luck” to cling to.

    You mention how shaming it is to slide and slide downward and eventually wind up in the literal poor house. It is. It is shaming beyond what I thought was possible. The shame is crippling to me, I’ll tell you that. Scrounging for food becomes a cloud, an atmosphere.

    When I was young, I went to art school. I managed to keep jobs for about 15 years. Now-a-days, it’s numbingly difficult, and finally became too much to handle. I had no idea that my talents and abilities would just atrophy under relentless stresses of grinding poverty. It causes unending depression and anxiety. The US is a dream. It is very hard anymore to believe in possibility. I believed, I have come to realize, that the energies of the universe would just be all right. But, maintaining faith got weaker and weaker as the crippling recurring depressions I have suffered through ate away at not only my self confidence but literally my ability to be capable. What education does to people is fill them with hope; at first it feeds (I do not believe that it is by definition anything actually nourishing); pretty soon, we become blinder and blinder to real existence. We live inside of our minds. We build up mental sand castles over time. That is what happened to me. Poverty in the face of plenty is precisely the most debilitating thing: grind after grind of disappointment, then loss of faith, and finally simple resignation to what only seems inevitable. This is what happens along the trajectory of low wages, falling into food banks, and finally succumbing into needing welfare. I certainly don’t have any answers except one: tell one’s story. As luck would have it, reading about your book (on Truthdig) stimulated me to write this comment, which is also a way of saying thank you to you for having written your book about my kind of story. I hope to be able to find your book at my library. I only wish I had the few dollars needed to buy it. (I do still believe, at least, in the rightness of supporting fellow artists through buying their work.) We soldier on.

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