front cover of Hard Times in the Marvelous City
Hard Times in the Marvelous City
From Dictatorship to Democracy in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro
Bryan McCann
Duke University Press, 2013
Beginning in the late 1970s, activists from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro challenged the conditions—such as limited access to security, sanitation, public education, and formal employment—that separated favela residents from Rio's other citizens. The activists built a movement that helped to push the nation toward redemocratization. They joined with political allies in an effort to institute an ambitious slate of municipal reforms. Those measures ultimately fell short of aspirations, and soon the reformers were struggling to hold together a fraying coalition. Rio was bankrupted by natural disasters and hyperinflation and ravaged by drug wars. Well-armed drug traffickers had become the new lords of the favelas, protecting their turf through violence and patronage. By the early 1990s, the promise of the favela residents' mobilization of the late 1970s and early 1980s seemed out of reach. Yet the aspirations that fueled that mobilization have endured, and its legacy continues to shape favela politics in Rio de Janeiro.
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Health Policy and the Disadvantaged
Lawrence D. Brown, ed.
Duke University Press, 1991
This important collection of essays, originating in a 1989 conference on the disadvantaged in American health care, provides incisive commentary on U.S. health care policy and politics. Examining public responses to health crises and analyzing the political logic of the American community, this volume charts the immobility of U.S. health policy in recent years and points to its disastrous consequences for the 1990s.
Focusing on the particular needs of disadvantaged groups—the elderly, children, people with AIDS, the mentally ill, the chemically dependent, the homeless, the hungry, the medically uninsured—these essays develop strong policy statements. The authors describe the growth in U.S. health care programs, from Kerr-Mills to Medicare, Medicaid, and subsequent revisions, and stress the serious omissions resulting from incremental policy expansion, both in identifying disadvantaged groups and in implementing programs. They report the weakness of the U.S. health care system compared to systems of other technologically developed countries.

Contributors. Deborah A. Stone and Theodore R. Marmor, Judith Feder, Alice Sardell, Bruce C. Vladeck, Michael Lipsky and Marc A. Thibodeau, Daniel M. Fox, William E. McAuliffe, M. Gregg Bloche and Francine Cournos, Lawrence D. Brown, James A. Morrone

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Health Work with the Poor
A Practical Guide
Kiefer, Christie W
Rutgers University Press, 2000

Christie Kiefer vividly brings home the meaning of poverty in peoples’ lives as he examines both their access to—and their lack of—health care.

            Aimed at both students and professionals in the field, this book argues that individuals serving the poor have the means and obligation to address the root causes of ill health of the poor, not just the symptoms. These causes, Kiefer argues, are overwhelmingly social and political. In a ringing indictment of the factors that perpetuate poverty, he declares that the work of healing at its best must include advocacy.

            Health Work with the Poor offers to both health workers and activists a wealth of practical information. Kiefer’s trenchant analysis of the factors that help cause and perpetuate poverty offers students the needed intellectual framework not only to accomplish short-term change but also to strive toward long-term social advocacy. Each chapter ends with a set of discussion questions—a real boon for instructors. Appendices on Internet resources for the study of poverty and on a proposed program detailing how to teach health workers in a way that promotes social awareness make this book a valuable resource for courses on poverty and health. It will also be an indispensable manual for all those who work with the poor.

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Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence
Advocacy and Health Policy for the Poor
Colleen M. Grogan and Michael K. Gusmano
Georgetown University Press, 2007

Public silence in policymaking can be deafening. When advocates for a disadvantaged group decline to speak up, not only are their concerns not recorded or acted upon, but also the collective strength of the unspoken argument is lessened—a situation that undermines the workings of deliberative democracy by reflecting only the concerns of more powerful interests.

But why do so many advocates remain silent on key issues they care about and how does that silence contribute to narrowly defined policies? What can individuals and organizations do to amplify their privately expressed concerns for policy change?

In Healthy Voices, Unhealthy Silence, Colleen M. Grogan and Michael K. Gusmano address these questions through the lens of state-level health care advocacy for the poor. They examine how representatives for the poor participate in an advisory board process by tying together existing studies; extensive interviews with key players; and an in-depth, first-hand look at the Connecticut Medicaid advisory board's deliberations during the managed care debate. Drawing on the concepts of deliberative democracy, agenda setting, and nonprofit advocacy, Grogan and Gusmano reveal the reasons behind advocates' often unexpected silence on major issues, assess how capable nonprofits are at affecting policy debates, and provide prescriptive advice for creating a participatory process that adequately addresses the health care concerns of the poor and dispossessed.

Though exploring specifically state-level health care advocacy for the poor, the lessons Grogan and Gusmano offer here are transferable across issue areas and levels of government. Public policy scholars, advocacy organizations, government workers, and students of government administration will be well-served by this significant study.

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The Hidden Famine
Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast 1840-50
Christine Kinealy and Gerard Mac Atasney
Pluto Press, 2000

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Higher Ground
New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children
Greg J. Duncan
Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
During the 1990s, growing demands to end chronic welfare dependency culminated in the 1996 federal "welfare-to-work" reforms. But regardless of welfare reform, the United States has always been home to a large population of working poor—people who remain poor even when they work and do not receive welfare. In a concentrated effort to address the problems of the working poor, a coalition of community activists and business leaders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, launched New Hope, an experimental program that boosted employment among the city's poor while reducing poverty and improving children's lives. In Higher Ground, Greg Duncan, Aletha Huston, and Thomas Weisner provide a compelling look at how New Hope can serve as a model for national anti-poverty policies. New Hope was a social contract—not a welfare program—in which participants were required to work a minimum of thirty hours a week in order to be eligible for earnings supplements and health and child care subsidies. All participants had access to career counseling and temporary community service jobs. Drawing on evidence from surveys, public records of employment and earnings, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observation, Higher Ground tells the story of this ambitious three-year social experiment and evaluates how participants fared relative to a control group. The results were highly encouraging. Poverty rates declined among families that participated in the program. Employment and earnings increased among participants who were not initially working full-time, relative to their counterparts in a control group. For those who had faced just one significant barrier to employment (such as a lack of access to child care or a spotty employment history), these gains lasted years after the program ended. Increased income, combined with New Hope's subsidies for child care and health care, brought marked improvements to the well-being and development of participants' children. Enrollment in child care centers increased, and fewer medical needs went unmet. Children performed better in school and exhibited fewer behavioral problems, and gains were particularly dramatic for boys, who are at the greatest risk for poor academic performance and behavioral disorders. As America takes stock of the successes and shortcomings of the Clinton-era welfare reforms, the authors convincingly demonstrate why New Hope could be a model for state and national policies to assist the working poor. Evidence based and insightfully written, Higher Ground illuminates how policymakers can make work pay for families struggling to escape poverty.
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How the Other Half Lives
Studies among the Tenements of New York
Jacob A. Riis
Harvard University Press, 2010

Since 1959 The John Harvard Library has been instrumental in publishing essential American writings in authoritative editions.

Jacob Riis’s pioneering work of photojournalism takes its title from Rabelais’s Pantagruel: “One half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth; considering that no one has yet written of that Country.” An anatomy of New York City’s slums in the 1880s, it vividly brought home to its first readers through the powerful combination of text and images the squalid living conditions of “the other half,” who might well have inhabited another country. The book pricked the conscience of its readers and raised the tenement into a symbol of intransigent social difference. As Alan Trachtenberg makes clear in his introduction, it is a book that still speaks powerfully to us today of social injustice.

Except for the modernization of spelling and punctuation, the John Harvard Library edition of How the Other Half Lives reproduces the text of the first published book version of November 1890. For this edition, prints have been made from Riis’s original photographs now in the archives of the Museum of the City of New York. Endnotes aid the contemporary reader.

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Hunger
A Modern History
James Vernon
Harvard University Press, 2007

Hunger is as old as history itself. Indeed, it appears to be a timeless and inescapable biological condition. And yet perceptions of hunger and of the hungry have changed over time and differed from place to place. Hunger has a history, which can now be told.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, hunger was viewed as an unavoidable natural phenomenon or as the fault of its lazy and morally flawed victims. By the middle of the twentieth century, a new understanding of hunger had taken root. Across the British Empire and beyond, humanitarian groups, political activists, social reformers, and nutritional scientists established that the hungry were innocent victims of political and economic forces outside their control. Hunger was now seen as a global social problem requiring government intervention in the form of welfare to aid the hungry at home and abroad. James Vernon captures this momentous shift as it occurred in imperial Britain over the past two centuries.

Rigorously researched, Hunger: A Modern History draws together social, cultural, and political history in a novel way, to show us how we came to have a moral, political, and social responsibility toward the hungry. Vernon forcefully reminds us how many perished from hunger in the empire and reveals how their history was intricately connected with the precarious achievements of the welfare state in Britain, as well as with the development of international institutions, such as the United Nations, committed to the conquest of world hunger. All those moved by the plight of the hungry will want to read this compelling book.

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