A Big Take On The World's "Little People"

Public attention directed toward the wealthy seems to take the form of intrigue about what they do. The impoverished, however, seem to attract attention for their perceived lack of meaningful employment opportunities or prospects for pursuing upward mobility, their perpetual struggle with destitution and despair. We wonder whether they ascribe blame to others or themselves for their life situations, what they think they can do about their plight, or what they think about the more privileged in society. In Poor People, William T. Vollmann attempts to answer this first question and, in doing so, offer some insight into the others. Vollmann intends to address what’s in the minds of poor people by literally trekking across the globe to meet and interview them. His succinct title severely contrasts with the enormity of the task at hand in this volume.