cover image Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise

Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise

Stephen M. Caliendo. Westview, $32 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-8133-4498-0

In this timely contribution to the constant call for meaningful conversation about race, North Central College political scientist Caliendo addresses how “disparities in income and wealth, housing, education, crime, employment opportunities, and health” arise, perpetuate one another, and how we can alleviate them. Substantive questions are offered in each chapter, and two supplementary elements (which seem textbooklike), buttress and enliven the book. “What Can I Do?” offers concrete suggestions relevant to the particular issues, from obtaining graduate degrees in public policy and urban planning to serving in food banks and soup kitchens. Twenty “feature boxes” focus on the ideas of a “particular individual or organization working toward economic and/or racial justice on behalf of the American people”—a diverse group, among them James Madison, Michelle Obama, Booker T. Washington, Earl Warren, , Ward Connerly, ACORN, and Teach for America. While Caliendo’s primary focus is upon the contemporary union of race and poverty, he looks at the historical roots of inequality and attends to rural poverty, as well as immigration and gender issues. The imperative message in this uncommonly balanced and fully accessible book is “that there are multiple ways to address inequality, and none should be dismissed just because it does not coincide with our personal political beliefs.” [em](Aug.) [/em]