Poverty is an extremely complex issue that’s difficult to grasp, yet so easy to oversimplify. There are tons of theories to try and explain why poverty still exists with all our advancements and aid. It’s easy to place blame on one single thing, when there are so many factors that come into play. Maybe it’s a bit overwhelming to even think about. Here are 5 great books on poverty to help you understand it.
These books address poverty on a global level. They’ll give you good foundation for why poverty exists in the world today, and offer some fresh perspectives on how to solve it. The start to solving any problem is to really understand it.
When you’re living on 99 cents a day, making decisions can be hard. This book explores how the stress of decision making for those in absolute poverty often leads to choices that end are worse off for them.
This book looks at roughly the last 200 years and provides a quick but comprehensive explanation as to how wealth has been distributed. The author also pulls in personal stories from his travels, and offers a hopeful path forward.
What makes the billion poorest people poor, and what about the 50 countries they live in reinforce that? This book argues that these countries are the central challenge of development, and proposes new policies and methods that the G8 countries must adopt.
Why are some countries successful while others seem to fail and continue in poverty? This book proposes that it’s not geography or culture, but rather governments – the political and economic institutions and how they interact with their people.
William Easterly worked at the World Bank until he was fired after writing a book criticizing the current development efforts. This book is a response in which he talks about how the policies and methods of Western countries are actually hurting the world’s poor.
Start with any of these books, or get all of them. If we’re a generation that’s going make a major dent in global poverty, we can’t come up with blanket answers or ignore the issues completely. We have to face them head on.
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Are there any books that should be on this list? Let us know!