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Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America…
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Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America (edição 2019)

por Chris Arnade (Autor)

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1063205,499 (4.07)Nenhum(a)
"Widely acclaimed photographer and writer Chris Arnade shines new light on America's poor, drug-addicted, and forgotten--both urban and rural, blue state and red state--and indicts the elitists who've left them behind. Like Jacob Riis in the 1890s, Walker Evans in the 1930s, or Michael Harrington in the 1960s, Chris Arnade bares the reality of our current class divide in stark pictures and unforgettable true stories. Arnade's raw, deeply reported accounts cut through today's clickbait media headlines and indict the elitists who misunderstood poverty and addiction in America for decades. After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx. He began interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, and spent hours in drug dens and McDonald's. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography. The people he got to know, from Alabama and California to Maine and Nevada, gave Arnade a new respect for the dignity and resilience of what he calls America's Back Row--those who lack the credentials and advantages of the so-called meritocratic upper class. The strivers in the Front Row, with their advanced degrees and upward mobility, see the Back Row's values as worthless. They scorn anyone who stays in a dying town or city as foolish, and mock anyone who clings to religion or tradition as naïve. As Takeesha, a woman in the Bronx, told Arnade, she wants to be seen she sees herself: "a prostitute, a mother of six, and a child of God." This book is his attempt to help the rest of us truly see, hear, and respect millions of people who've been left behind"--"After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx, spending years interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, hanging out in drug dens and McDonald's in the South Bronx. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography"--… (mais)
Membro:spisaacs
Título:Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America
Autores:Chris Arnade (Autor)
Informação:Sentinel (2019), Edition: Illustrated, 304 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:own, to-read

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Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America por Chris Arnade

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Chris Arnade takes a journey firstly through Hunts Point, Bronx, New York and then through small town USA, taking photos of, and talking to, what he calls "the back row". Arnade himself is distinctly "front row" - an ex Wall St trader grown comfortably off and bored turned social anthropologist.

Much of the book is excellent; the stories he tells are always revealing, often depressing, occasionally uplifting. The people - the minimum wage workers, the homeless, the helpless, the drug ravaged and especially the sex workers, get a chance to be individuals rather than cases or statistics, and Arnade's pen and camera are always sympathetic and never patronising.

In fact this simple method of talking to people, and taking their photos, is where he is at his most effective. There is one photo of a young man pushing his infant children around in a shopping trolley, whilst his partner begs that is particularly affecting. When he gets into social commentary he is less convincing. Certainly he points out a couple of important factors - firstly the importance and ubiquity of drugs in "back row" America. Drugs are needed, Arnade thinks, as a coping technique for the undoubted misery of some of the lives he describes. But drugs are ubiquitous throughout "front row" America as well; in fact Arnade describes his own difficulties with alcohol so that's not really a convincing explanation. Its more likely that drugs have their appeal to all sections of society but the strategies users have to adopt to afford them in "back row" America are much more desperate

He is right to point out the unifying pull of religion, the pull to one's home community and the difficulty of progression without "credentials" and above all the importance of McDonald's as a community resource and asset. But I think he is wrong to suggest that the main thing these groups of the "left behind" want and need is "respect" and "dignity". What is needed is investment in social infrastructure and social care, and government investment to create employment or subsidised business investment. A path to security is more valuable than any amount of respect

This book has sometimes been described as one of the many discussing the rise of Trump; its not really that. Most of the people Arnade describes are unlikely to vote at all, and many of the small towns he describes would probably vote for any Republican candidate. And yet it does feel true that there is a gap in understanding and empathy between the "elite" and the "left behind" and that the latter group is growing fast. The America Arnade describes is not great and will not be great, but does need intervention to avoid further decline into an abyss of hopelessness

A request for the second edition; please label the photos. If people don't want their names published, fine, but at least label them for location. Its annoying not knowing where shots are taken ( )
  Opinionated | Dec 27, 2020 |
The journey of a well-educated, highly-successful businessman as he chooses to forsake life in banking to explore the low-income, intensely-avoided areas of the U.S. Several interviews take place with members of these communities. The residents choose to live in the communities that were once engaging, growing, and successfully, from a commercial perspective. With many residents following the movement of money and industry out of the communities, the author argues that it is not within everyone's ability or desire to be successful, as defined by society. The residents continue to live where they grew up, surrounded by those they've known since childhood, and feel they are successful, if not left behind. ( )
  Sovranty | Jun 21, 2020 |
The results of the author's journey into many of the places you're told not to go, and his interactions with the people who live there.

The author tells of his journey as a "front row" member of America: got out of small town life, got credentialed, made money. He began interacting with people who were, as he put it, in "back row" America: no credentials, and only have one another, faith, drugs, etc. He chronicles what he saw from the Bronx to Selma, Bakersfield to Lewiston, Maine.

He finds a lot of common threads. There was work in factories, and now it's gone. People turn to drugs to cope and escape. Faith remains robust, even if it does not always produce the expected repentance. People rely on each other. McDonald's becomes the meeting house and safe haven.

It's hard to put down; the author has portrayed his subjects in a compelling and often sympathetic manner. It's an important thing for members of "front row" America to see, and a reminder of the cost of globalization and the movement of capital over the past 40 years.

The work resonated with me in many ways. The author could have just as easily visited my hometown as he did many others; I, like him, had to "get out" and now live among the credentialed class. On the other hand, I am not as successful as he, and feel more ambivalent about my departure than he does; I am undoubtedly "front row" in many respects, yet appreciate some of the community values of the "back row," and am more suspicious about the viability and health of the meritocracy and valuing people by their productivity.

The most unsatisfying part of the book is its end. After having so richly portrayed "back row" America, the author essentially shrugs and moves on. He still validated his departure and the existence of the distinctive cultures of the "front row" and "back row" Americas. Indeed, he did expect "front row" America to recognize its power and privilege and stop despising "back row" Americans and seek to understand their plight. And yet it seems the author thinks the difficulties for "back row" America are largely intractable. Those factory jobs are not coming back; he is probably accurate in thinking credentials will continue to be the required norm for the foreseeable future.

It doesn't have to be this way, but it is continuing this way since it "works" for most of "front row" America. If only we did not maintain such a failure of imagination when it comes to the rest of the country. ( )
  deusvitae | Jun 29, 2019 |
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"Widely acclaimed photographer and writer Chris Arnade shines new light on America's poor, drug-addicted, and forgotten--both urban and rural, blue state and red state--and indicts the elitists who've left them behind. Like Jacob Riis in the 1890s, Walker Evans in the 1930s, or Michael Harrington in the 1960s, Chris Arnade bares the reality of our current class divide in stark pictures and unforgettable true stories. Arnade's raw, deeply reported accounts cut through today's clickbait media headlines and indict the elitists who misunderstood poverty and addiction in America for decades. After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx. He began interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, and spent hours in drug dens and McDonald's. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography. The people he got to know, from Alabama and California to Maine and Nevada, gave Arnade a new respect for the dignity and resilience of what he calls America's Back Row--those who lack the credentials and advantages of the so-called meritocratic upper class. The strivers in the Front Row, with their advanced degrees and upward mobility, see the Back Row's values as worthless. They scorn anyone who stays in a dying town or city as foolish, and mock anyone who clings to religion or tradition as naïve. As Takeesha, a woman in the Bronx, told Arnade, she wants to be seen she sees herself: "a prostitute, a mother of six, and a child of God." This book is his attempt to help the rest of us truly see, hear, and respect millions of people who've been left behind"--"After abandoning his Wall Street career, Arnade decided to document poverty and addiction in the Bronx, spending years interviewing, photographing, and becoming close friends with homeless addicts, hanging out in drug dens and McDonald's in the South Bronx. Then he started driving across America to see how the rest of the country compared. He found the same types of stories everywhere, across lines of race, ethnicity, religion, and geography"--

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