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Broke But Unbroken: Grassroots Social Movements and Their Radical Solutions to Poverty

Augusta Dwyer
Broke But Unbroken: Grassroots Social Movements and Their Radical Solutions to Poverty
ISBN: 978-1-56549-447-3
2011/176 pages/LC: 2011008712
A Kumarian Press Book
Also of interest:  Just Give Money to the Poor: The Development Revolution from the Global South by Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos, and David Hulme

"Broke but Unbroken is a tour de force of grassroots reporting.... Dwyer shows us how the bottom half of the world lives. It is sometimes shocking and enraging but the message that comes out is one of empowerment as people take their fate into their own hands.” —Ian Johnson, author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China


Arguing that poverty reduction as envisioned by Western governments and aid agencies is little more than a perpetuation of colonial attitudes, Augusta Dwyer explores the extraordinary successes that have been achieved by the poor themselves.

Dwyer takes us on a journey through the slums and villages of Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Argentina as she meets with organizers from some of the most successful grassroots social movements in the struggle against poverty. These are people who have risked their homes, their families, and even their lives to effect real change. The stories of economic and political empowerment that they share dramatically portray the potency of collective action.


Augusta Dwyer is an award-winning independent journalist. She is also author of Into the Amazon: Chico Mendes and the Struggle for the Rainforest and On the Line: Life on the U.S.-Mexico Border.


  • Introduction: Dealing with Hope.
  • A People's Garden.
  • A People's Production.
  • A Walk in the Woods.
  • Agriculture Is Life and Custom.
  • INDIA.
  • Beyond the Slum.
  • Women Together.
  • Sí o Sí.
  • A New Dynamic.
  • Conclusion: No Turning Back.