Books About Poverty
Books, historically, impress on people in ways no other medium can. Their value is indisputable and has proven a necessity throughout time as a means to communicate and collect knowledge. Literature covers an array of genres, from horror to romance, technology to business—a book can really contain anything. In today’s complex world, people also use books to spread the news of relevant issues, and specifically, can spread the news of global poverty. Publishers have published hundreds of books about poverty in the last century alone, but a few have shone through in recent years. If anyone wants to become more informed about global poverty, the list of books about poverty below would be a perfect way to start.

5 Good Books About Poverty

  1. The End of Poverty” by Jeffery Sachs takes a look at poverty from an economic standpoint. The author, both an avid traveler and economist himself, utilizes both analytical research and personal experience in developing nations to provide an in-depth assessment of global poverty. His travels through Bolivia, India, China, Russia and Africa complete the picture of global poverty he tries to address. At the same time, he provides insight on how to escape poverty through the perspective of global economics. The unique economic standpoint permits not only a glimpse into the issues but also ideas of how to fight them.
  2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers” snapshots the life of a settlement just outside the airport of Mumbai, India. Author Katharine Boo eloquently follows the stories of various individuals living in the area as a way to highlight poverty in India. She also utilizes the narrative to explore controversial themes within the Indian context, from politics to economics to religion. As a nonfiction bestseller, the book won a National Book Award in 2012. With a central focus on the developing parts of India and a strong written backbone, this book about poverty offers great insight into a complex issue of the world.
  3. How China Escaped the Poverty Trap” captures the country’s development from a struggling nation to an economic powerhouse with a global standing. Taking into account China’s entire development holistically, author Yuen Yuen Ang frames his analysis with a combination of history, economics, politics and general sentiments of the Chinese throughout the years. In addition to an isolated look at China, Ang finds methods of comparison between other nations as they rose into prominence, such as the United States. This book about poverty showcases how a country can come up from poverty and become an established force in the world.
  4. A Poverty of Rights” analyzes Brazil’s governmental growth and the effect it has had on the nation’s poorest classes. Though the country has grown to protect most rights of its citizens, it seems that the country left out the lower classes during the developmental period, resulting in difficulty for these people to even survive in their own country. Author Brodwyn Fischer assesses the damage through both a political and legislative perspective, highlighting both the progress of the country and the challenges it still faces.
  5. Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present” explores the persistent nature of poverty in Africa, both of today’s times and of the past. Author Colin Bundy’s book about poverty, published in 2018, is able to provide an accurate account of the trouble times due to several factors. It takes a look at Africa’s society from various perspectives, including (though not limited to) historical, economic, financial and political. The book focuses on the root factors affecting poverty in Africa to try and answer the question of why the country has yet to develop further in today’s modern world. This work assesses Africa’s situation on a logical scale, allowing the reader to view challenges with an objective thought process.

Books have a way of capturing a concept more holistically than any other form of record. While they can contain basic information, authors also have the distinct ability to make an audience feel and empathize with the subject. As such, books are also the perfect way to discuss poverty. Readers are able to learn about the issues and also visualize them with immense detail. They are truly a way to spread the word about poverty.

Eleanora Kamerow
Photo: Unsplash