The Public Interest

Impoverished theories of the working poor

Heather Mac Donald

Fall 1999

ITS easy to take the liberal academic out of the ivory tower but not the ivory tower out of the liberal academic, Katherine S. Newman, an urban anthropologist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, spent two years in Central Harlem studying the inner-city working poor—specifically, workers in an unnamed national fast-food chain she calls Burger Barn. Newmans goal was to cast light on an economic group she claims middle-class Americans stigmatize and ignore. But the resulting book, No Shame in My Game, _ reveals instead how staunchly academics cling to their cherished beliefs about American racism and injustice in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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