WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2:00–3:00 P.M. EST
Trapped in America's Safety Net: One Family's Struggle by Andrea Louis Campbell
When Andrea Louise Campbell’s sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was run off the freeway by a hit-and-run driver, she was eight months pregnant. She survived—and, miraculously, the baby was born healthy. But that’s where the good news ends. Marcella was left paralyzed from the chest down. This accident was much more than just a physical and emotional tragedy. Like so many Americans—50 million, or one-sixth of the country’s population—neither Marcella nor her husband, Dave, who works for a small business, had health insurance. On the day of the accident, she was on her way to class for the nursing program through which she hoped to secure one of the few remaining jobs in the area with the promise of employer-provided insurance. Instead, the accident plunged the young family into the tangled web of means-tested social assistance.
Andrea Louise Campbell is the Department Head and Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interests include American politics, political behavior, public opinion, and political inequality, particularly their intersection with social welfare policy, health policy, and tax policy. She is the author of How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Citizen Activism and the American Welfare State (Princeton, 2003), and, with Kimberly J. Morgan, The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Provision (Oxford, 2011). She holds an A.B. degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley.
Campbell’s systematic review of the low level of American social assistance (compared to other industrial nations); its incompleteness; and its "fifty different worlds" of coverage (criteria vary by state, effectively undercutting the meaning of national citizenship, which is not the case for Social Security and Medicare) points toward wholesale rethinking and reform.-Harvard Magazine review
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2:00–3:00 P.M. EST
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Through the heartbreaking stories of eight families living in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, Evicted describes the economic hardships and extreme poverty of renting and raising a family on almost nothing. Based on embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, the book helps readers understand what extreme poverty and economic exploitation mean while providing promising ideas for addressing a uniquely American problem.
Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author of the award-winning book On the Fire Line, co-author of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2:00–3:00 P.M. EST
DIY Detroit: Making Do in a City Without Services by Kimberley Kinder
DIY Detroit is an exploration of how residents in Detroit have coped with market disinvestment and government contraction by taking charge of abandoned landscapes – sweeping public streets, boarding empty buildings, mowing vacant lots, and maintaining city parks. With the City of Detroit significantly weakened by longstanding fiscal crises, these self-provisioned, spatial interventions are crucial to stabilizing blocks and exerting social control over neighborhoods. The book reveals how the efforts of these Detroiters and others like them create new urban logics and transform the expectations residents have about their environments. At the same time, readers are cautioned against romanticizing such acts, which are, after all, short-term solutions to a deep and spreading social injustice that demands comprehensive change.
Kimberley Kinder is an Assistant Professor of City Planning at the University of Michigan. Her research explores the cultural, economic, and political aspects of urban space. Dr. Kinder earned a masters degree in geography from the University of Oxford and a PhD in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. She then received a three-year fellowship with the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, and subsequently joined Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is the author of Cities Without Services: Do-It-Yourself Urbanism in Detroit’s Spaces of Disinvestment (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and The Politics of Urban Water: Changing Waterscapes in Amsterdam (University of Georgia Press, 2015).
Listen to NCCP Book Club discussion of Because of Sex
Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work by Gillian Thomas
Please join NCCP on Wednesday, May 11, for a discussion of Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years that Changed American Women's Lives at Work with author Gillian Thomas (St. Martin's Press, March 2016, 272 pages).
An employment lawyer specializing in women's rights, Thomas looks at ten cases that have defined the fight for equality since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which made it illegal to discriminate "because of sex." Among them is the Supreme Court’s December 2014 ruling in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., vacating a lower court’s decision against delivery driver Peggy Young, who sued UPS for putting her on unpaid leave owing to medical restrictions against lifting while she was pregnant.
The 2016 NCCP Online Book Club is made possible with support from the