Below you will find resources to help you learn more about the working poor, whether it is through books about the poor, through organizations that can help or which you can volunteer at, or data and statistics on the working poor.
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans
One of the most influential books ever written about the poor. Back in 1936, James Agee and Walker Evans spent many weeks with tenant farmers in Moundville, Alabama. Eventually, this book was the result of their experiences. A truly unique book.
One of the best books about the working poor. Bragg writes eloquently about growing up in eastern Alabama with an absent father and a mother who works as a cotton farmer. Bragg won The Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for Feature Writing while working as a reporter for The New York Times.
Author who has tackled the living wage issue, as well as the opposite end of the spectrum, the white collar class, and the immense pressure and job insecurity they face. Ehrenreich worked five different low wage jobs to capture the experiences of the working poor first hand.
Wayne Flynt is Professor Emeritus in the History Department at Auburn University. He has written several books on Alabama, but for those interested in knowing more about the poor, this is the one to read. Flynt uses raw government data and other historical tools to trace the history of poor whites in Alabama and breaks a few myths in the process.
Dale Maharidge has written about the working poor for nearly thirty years. He and photographer Michael Williamson won The Pulitzer Prize for best nonfiction work in 1990 with their book, And Their Children After Them. He is a long-time journalism professor at Columbia University. His latest book is Someplace Like America.
Prolific author and journalist Williams T. Vollmann offers a simple journey across the world where he asks them about being poor. He discovers the term “poor” many different things to different people.
National and International Organizations
Studies and Data
U.S. Department of Labor Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau