Book Description The economic meltdown has affected Americans from every walk of life—Think and Act Anew explores the crisis, and offers a new way for all of us to evaluate poverty, its causes, and possible solutions.
The President of Catholic Charities USA, Father Larry Snyder draws on an astonishing array of sources and real-life examples to challenge government, business, and individuals to examine their roles, accountability, and potential to change our nation’s course—and then, to act in new ways to make positive change in the lives of all.
“In a brief book that deals in 'bitter truths' as well as hope, Snyder provides a five-point list of 'Someone is poor if ...'; adds Maimonides’ eight levels of giving; and includes a 'Not All Poor People Are Equal' catalog. Equally encouraging are the snapshots of innovative programs from Silicon Valley, where 54 percent of eligible residents don’t apply for food stamps; to Harlem Children’s Zone, “one of the most successful antipoverty programs in the country”; to the Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit.
"'The basic question before us,' writes Snyder, 'is what kind of society we want to be. But our obligation does not stop there. As people of faith we will not get it right until we acknowledge that everyone is our sister and brother--even those whose appearance or behavior is unappealing to us.'”
"At this point in the book, which has already chided Wall Street, excerpted papal teaching, and debated the common good and free markets, Snyder is astonishingly close to its end. It is a tightly packed volume that runs through its teaching and exhorting course in only 118 pages.
"For Catholics and others, Think and Act Anew is a social justice jewel case containing many gems, not least E.J. Dionne’s foreword saying this: 'A Baptist friend of mine who is a divinity professor tells me that one of her favorite classes every year involves introducing her mostly Protestant students to Catholic social teaching.'”
"Snyder himself provides this telling endnote: 'As we will it, so shall the future be' -- provided we pick up the peeler and prepare the spuds, sign the petitions, get involved in efforts for low-income housing, protest injustice and work for systemic change as if success were immaterial and action for others all-important.”—Arthur Jones, The National Catholic Reporter
"'If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day,' goes the old saying, 'but if you teach him to fish you feed him for a lifetime.' . . . For his reader [Fr. Larry Snyder’s book] is a “fishing pole” of information and action.
What began as a blog to ensure a broad discussion on human development became a book that explores, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 encyclical, 'love in truth.' Snyder begins by explaining the pope’s message in Veritas in caritate, quoting it throughout the remainder of his book. He then takes us on a journey through structural injustice by engaging in topics such as 'Defining Poverty,' 'How We Live in Relationship to Each Other,' and 'The New Poor,' whom he describes as people we know, 'our neighbors, or family, or friends,' people who never had to ask for help before. He challenges an economic model that puts the profit of shareholders over the sustainability of employees’ lives.
". . . . Snyder sends us out 'to fish' with an appendix full of information to help his reader 'be the change we wish to see in the world.'”–U.S. Catholic
Rev. Larry Snyder is president of Catholic Charities USA and oversees its work to reduce poverty in America by half by 2020. A member of the President’s Council of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Fr. Snyder has been recognized by The Nonprofit Times as one of its “Power and Influence Top 50”. He resides and works in Virginia.