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Living in a Box Hilton

March 25, 2009

While the effects of the current economic downturn have not yet matched those of the Great Depression, a book reviewed in the New York Times this morning might be a portent of things to come. Dwight Garner writes about Land of the Lost Souls, a book about being homeless in New York City by an author named Cadillac Man. From living in a “box hilton” to spreading a “debris field” around him at night to act as an early warning system, Garner tells how Cadillac Man went from being a married father with a job and a home to living on the streets and earning money by “canning”, or recycling old cans and bottles for their small return value. The book, coming as it does in the midst of the worst recession in 80 years, is a stark reminder of America’s growing social and economic fragility.

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