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6 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and conscise
I enjoyed reading this book, useful for anyone, especially those interested in poverty or homelessness. It has a good level of information and gives a good introduction to some issues surrounding poverty. Some of the arguments I felt needed to be more depth in order to create a more compelling arguement.
Published on 25 Jan. 2013 by Edna85

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing waffle
I've got a lot of time for John Bird. His overall philosophy is great, the Big Issue is an important project and quite a good magazine, and I generally like his guest op-ed spot.

But this book is a real disappointment. I bought it on the strength of a short piece in the magazine, and all the good bits were actually in that 200 words or so.

This has...
Published on 21 Dec. 2012 by Jezza


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and conscise, 25 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Necessity of Poverty (Paperback)
I enjoyed reading this book, useful for anyone, especially those interested in poverty or homelessness. It has a good level of information and gives a good introduction to some issues surrounding poverty. Some of the arguments I felt needed to be more depth in order to create a more compelling arguement.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing waffle, 21 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Necessity of Poverty (Paperback)
I've got a lot of time for John Bird. His overall philosophy is great, the Big Issue is an important project and quite a good magazine, and I generally like his guest op-ed spot.

But this book is a real disappointment. I bought it on the strength of a short piece in the magazine, and all the good bits were actually in that 200 words or so.

This has barely two ideas to rub together. The poor need help that doesn't make them dependent. The idea of self-help is a good one, but the Tories have conscripted it for their purposes. Some people make a living and a career out of helping the poor, even though they are not poor themselves and don't really understand them (or care about them, it is implied but not said). The poor are useful to the rich because they buy stuff, from which others make a profit. Poor people should use their purchasing power more carefully and not buy stuff from rich people.

That's it. I defy anyone to find anything more profound in here. There is no discussion of 'the poor' as a category, no indication that the author is aware that anyone else has ever thought about this (despite his twenty years in Marxist organisations, the term 'reserve army of labour' does not appear). It's important to make things simple so that lots of people can understand them, but you can also dumb down so far that all the content is gone. That's what has happened here.

There aren't even any useful or interesting examples of self-help projects, apart from the Big Issue and similar magazines. Some anecdotes about alternative forms of collective purchasing would have given the book at least some value.

Don't waste your money on this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and thought provoking, 22 Jan. 2013
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Everyone should read this book. We all need to adopt John's concept of 'hand up' rather than 'hand out'

It also made me aware of how we have been 'suckered' into the 'corporatebranding' that exists in the World and how they all use poverty to make money!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poverty, 17 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Necessity of Poverty (Paperback)
Original thinking regarding this subject very thought provoking as well as being a good read. Worth keeping on the shelf to refer to.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Bird, 4 Feb. 2013
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A good read, rather small could have been expanded, fits in the pocket therefore could read anywhere at any time
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: The Necessity of Poverty (Paperback)
Fantastic reading and thought provoking, makes you think about the way things are today. Would recommend this for readers who are struggling to survive today
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The Necessity of Poverty
The Necessity of Poverty by John Bird (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2012)
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