New Thinking and Feeling About Humanity's Greatest Challenge
by Eric Meade
Pub Date 01 Feb 2019
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We talk about poverty as if it were something "out there" - something that does not touch us directly. As a result, we get trapped in a counterproductive debate among perspectives on poverty that each have some of the truth, but not all of the truth. Further, when we act on our own limited perspective, our efforts do not produce the intended results, or - worse - they create even greater problems for the future.
We are all deeply connected to poverty through our own experience or through that of our families and forebears. By bringing feelings about poverty into the discussion, REFRAMING POVERTY integrates what is valid about each perspective and offers a deeper understanding of poverty that suggests wiser action to reduce it.
"Reframing Poverty skillfully combines interdisciplinary research with popular sources to address poverty for the future ... The book’s prose is clear and stylish, and distinctions are sharp within it. This is a complex, academic topic, but Meade’s work is engaging and engrossing. He avoids simple answers in favor of real insights into the roots of poverty."
BlueInk Starred Review
"Meade's writing is lucid, and his arguments are pervasive ... With Reframing Poverty, Meade has created a valuable work that offers an insightful method for examining poverty and seeking solutions to this pervasive problem."
"A provocative book that upends conventional thinking and forces the reader to think deeply about what poverty is, why some people are poor, and what to do about it. Definitely worth the read."
--Eric Nee, Editor-in-Chief, Stanford Social Innovation Review
"Why are people poor and what should be done about it? In this insightful book, Meade maps the four basic theories that scholars and activists cluster around and often go to war over. He goes on to show how each holds a partial truth, and how we can - and need to - construct a broader perspective that encompasses them all. Be ready to be challenged. This work could change the entire field."
--Frederic Laloux, Author, Reinventing Organizations
"In this eloquently crafted and persuasively argued book, Meade makes the counterintuitive claim that we can’t address poverty mainly by using microscopes to examine ever more minutely the lives of people who are poor. Rather, we need to use mirrors to examine the hearts and minds of those of us who aren't. Interweaving compelling stories with incisive analysis, Meade makes a convincing and ultimately transformative case. Fair warning: if you are not poor, you will come away with a deep sense of humility toward your own good fortune, but also with a deep sense of responsibility for those who languish in poverty."
--Galen Guengerich, Senior Minister, All Souls Unitarian Church, New York City
“Meade brings his broad perspective and genuine curiosity to this important exploration of poverty. He reminds us that we are all connected to poverty in some way. By validating the wide range of emotions poverty evokes in all of us, Meade breathes humanity into this discourse. A compelling treatise on a critical global issue.”
--Sanjay Pradhan, CEO, Open Government Partnership
“A refreshing discourse on poverty … As an expert in human-centered design, I was struck by Meade’s emotional definition of poverty and by how he encourages the reader, through real-world examples, to explore how their personal experience influences their understanding of poverty.”
--Michelle Risinger, Innovation Director, Pact