The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West (Smiley Books, 2012).
Cornel West – public intellectual and activist, author of Race Matters, and Princeton University professor – teamed up with public broadcaster Tavis Smiley to write The Rich and the Rest of US, a by-product of the pair’s 18-city “Poverty Tour” raising awareness and encouraging advocacy about poverty in 21st century America. They address two recently-related phenomenon: the history and plight of poor people in America, and the “new poor” (previously middle class) victims of the Great Recession. Together, they comprise 150 million persistently poor and near poor Americans, amounting to nearly 50% of the country’s population. In this book, West and Smiley are issuing a call to action to address the increasing poverty in our midst before it permanently distorts our democracy, values, and economic future. Continue reading