About Stephen Pimpare

Stephen Pimpare is Professor of Public Policy at Vermont Law and Graduate School. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A People's History of Poverty (New Press, 2008), Ghettos, Tramps & Welfare Queens (Oxford, 2017), and Politics for Social Workers (Columbia, 2021).

Stephen Pimpare is Professor of Public Policy at Vermont Law and Graduate School.

Stephen's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Stephen:

Anne Kim, "Poverty for Profit: How Corporations Get Rich off America’s Poor" (The New Press, 2024)

May 30, 2024

Poverty for Profit

Anne Kim
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Poverty is big business in America. The federal government spends about $900 billion a year on programs that directly or disproportionately impact poo…

Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton, "The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison" (Routledge, 2023)

May 24, 2024

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison

Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

For 40 years, this classic text has taken the issue of economic inequality seriously and asked: Why are our prisons filled with the poor? Why aren't t…

Teresa Ghilarducci, "Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy" (U Chicago Press, 2024)

March 30, 2024

Work, Retire, Repeat

Teresa Ghilarducci
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

The issue of the future of Social Security, on which millions of Americans depend, produced great political theater at the State of the Union address.…

Karl Widerquist, "Universal Basic Income" (MIT Press, 2024)

March 22, 2024

Universal Basic Income

Karl Widerquist
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Karl Widerquist's Universal Basic Income (MIT Press, 2024) is an accessible introduction to the simple (yet radical) premise that a small cash income…

David E. Gilbert, "Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land: A Social Movement Ethnography" (U California Press, 2024)

March 12, 2024

Countering Dispossession, Reclaiming Land

David E. Gilbert
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Two decades ago, a group of Indonesian agricultural workers began occupying the agribusiness plantation near their homes. In the years since, members …

Terry Williams, "Life Underground: Encounters with People Below the Streets of New York" (Columbia UP, 2024)

March 1, 2024

Life Underground

Terry Williams
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Aboveground, Manhattan’s Riverside Park provides open space for the densely populated Upper West Side. Beneath its surface run railroad tunnels, disus…

Laurence Cox et al., "Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Social Movements" (Edward Elgar, 2024)

February 17, 2024

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications for Social Movements

Laurence Cox, Anna Szolucha, Alberto Arribas Lozano, and Sutapa Chattopadhyay
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Addressing practice-oriented questions, this handbook engages with both theoretical and political dimensions, unpacking the multidimensional nature of…

Nick Romeo, "The Alternative: How to Build a Just Economy" (PublicAffairs, 2024)

February 7, 2024

The Alternative

Nick Romeo
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Winners Take All meets Nickel and Dimed: a provocative debunking of accepted wisdom, providing the pathway to a sustainable, survivable economy. Conf…

Lisa L. Phillips et al., "Grassroots Activisms: Public Rhetorics in Localized Contexts" (Ohio State UP, 2024)

February 4, 2024

Grassroots Activisms: Public Rhetorics in Localized Contexts

Lisa L. Phillips, Sarah Warren-Riley, and Julie Collins Bates
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

What is the nature of grassroots activism? How and why do individuals get involved or attempt to make change for themselves, others, or their own comm…

Chrystin Ondersma, "Dignity Not Debt: An Abolitionist Approach to Economic Justice" (U California Press, 2024)

February 3, 2024

Dignity Not Debt

Chrystin Ondersma
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

American households have a debt problem. The problem is not, as often claimed, that Americans recklessly take on too much debt. The problem is that US…

Ofer Sharone, "The Stigma Trap: College-Educated, Experienced, and Long-Term Unemployed" (Oxford UP, 2024)

January 22, 2024

The Stigma Trap

Ofer Sharone
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

An eye-opening look at how all American workers, even the highly educated and experienced, are vulnerable to the stigma of unemployment. After receiv…

Daniel Campo, "Postindustrial DIY: Recovering American Rust Belt Icons" (Fordham UP, 2023)

December 20, 2023

Postindustrial DIY

Daniel Campo
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

A pioneering Detroit automobile factory. A legendary iron mill at the edge of Pittsburgh. A campus of concrete grain elevators in Buffalo. Two monumen…

Deepak Bhargava and Stephanie Luce, "Practical Radicals: Seven Strategies to Change the World" (The New Press, 2023)

December 1, 2023

Practical Radicals

Deepak Bhargava and Stephanie Luce
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

In the tradition of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Deepak Bhargava and Stephanie Luce’s Practical Radicals: Seven Str…

Eric M. Patashnik, "Countermobilization: Policy Feedback and Backlash in a Polarized Age" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

November 12, 2023


Eric M. Patashnik
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

The most successful policies not only solve problems. They also build supportive coalitions. Yet, sometimes, policies trigger backlash and mobilize op…

Christopher John Bosso, "Why SNAP Works: A Political History--And Defense--of the Food Stamp Program" (U California Press, 2023)

October 14, 2023

Why SNAP Works

Christopher John Bosso
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

How did the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program evolve from a Depression-era effort to use up surplus goods into America's foundational food ass…

Lainey Newman and Theda Skocpol, "Rust Belt Union Blues: Why Working-Class Voters Are Turning Away from the Democratic Party" (Columbia UP, 2023)

October 12, 2023

Rust Belt Union Blues

Lainey Newman and Theda Skocpol
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

In the heyday of American labor, the influence of local unions extended far beyond the workplace. Unions fostered tight-knit communities, touching nea…

Kevin F. Adler and Donald W. Burnes, "When We Walk By: Forgotten Humanity, Broken Systems, and the Role We Can Each Play in Ending Homelessness in America" (North Atlantic Books, 2023)

October 1, 2023

When We Walk By

Kevin F. Adler and Donald W. Burnes
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Think about the last time that you saw or interacted with an unhoused person. What did you do? What did you say? Did you offer money or a smile, or di…

Luke Messac, "Your Money Or Your Life: Debt Collection in American Medicine" (Oxford UP, 2023)

September 17, 2023

Your Money Or Your Life

Luke Messac
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

A riveting exposé of medical debt collection in America -- and the profound financial and physical costs eroding patient trust in medicine For the cri…

Zachary Parolin, "Poverty in the Pandemic: Policy Lessons from COVID-19" (Russell Sage Foundation, 2023)

September 15, 2023

Poverty in the Pandemic

Zachary Parolin
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Zachary Parolin's book Poverty in the Pandemic: Policy Lessons from COVID-19 (Russell Sage Foundation, 2023) is interested in poverty during the COVID…

Kathryn J. Edin et al., "The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America" (Mariner Books, 2023)

September 1, 2023

The Injustice of Place

Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer, and Timothy J. Nelson
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

A sweeping and surprising new understanding of extreme poverty in America from the authors of the acclaimed $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in A…

Frederick W. Gooding Jr. and Eric S. Yellin, "Public Workers in Service of America: A Reader" (U Illinois Press, 2023)

August 26, 2023

Public Workers in Service of America

Frederick W. Gooding Jr. and Eric S. Yellin
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

From white-collar executives to mail carriers, public workers meet the needs of the entire nation. In Public Workers in Service of America: A Reader (…

Lauren S. Foley, "On the Basis of Race: How Higher Education Navigates Affirmative Action Policies" (NYU Press, 2023)

August 16, 2023

On the Basis of Race

Lauren S. Foley
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

Diversity in higher education is under attack as the Supreme Court limits the use of race-conscious admissions practices at American colleges and univ…

Elizabeth Carpenter-Song, "Families on the Edge: Experiences of Homelessness and Care in Rural New England" (MIT Press, 2023)

August 4, 2023

Families on the Edge

Elizabeth Carpenter-Song
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

An intimate account of rural New England families living on the edge of homelessness, as well as the practices and policies of care that fail them. Fa…

Colleen M. Grogan, "Grow and Hide: The History of America's Health Care State" (Oxford UP, 2023)

August 2, 2023

Grow and Hide

Colleen M. Grogan
Hosted by Stephen Pimpare

A sweeping history of the American health care state that reveals the public has been intentionally misled about the true role of government. The US g…