Different Shade of Gray

Different Shade of Gray Cover

Different Shade of Gray

By Katherine S. Newman

New Press, Hardcover, 9781565846159, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 17, 2003


In a book that Robert B. Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, called "provocative and insightful . . . combining revealing details about specific people with thoughtful analysis of the trends that have shaped their lives," Katherine S. Newman, former dean of social sciences at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and award-winning author of "No Shame in My Game," exposes a growing but largely invisible group of Americans: the aging urban underclass.

While an increasing portion of the U.S. population is about to retire--the number of Americans over age sixty-five is expected to double to seventy million in the next thirty years--the experience of middle and old age, as Newman shows, differs dramatically for whites and minorities, for the middle class and the poor, and for those living in the suburbs versus the city. Focusing on the lives of elderly African Americans and Latinos in pockets of New York City where wages are low, crime is often high, and the elderly have few support systems they can rely on, "A Different Shade of Gray" provides "a well-documented portrait of a little-examined group" ("Kirkus Reviews").

About the Author
Katherine S. Newman is professor of sociology and James Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. A widely published expert on poverty and the working poor, she was previously the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes '41 Professor in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the department of sociology at Princeton University. She is the author of several books on urban poverty, including "No Shame in My Game," which won the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Prize and the Sidney Hillman Book Award in 2000, and "A Different Shade of Gray: Midlife and Beyond in the Inner City" (The New Press). She is a co-author, with Victor Tan Chen, of "The Missing Class."