Tan [pronounced like the color “tan”] Chen is a sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies economic inequality. Chen’s latest book is Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy. Based on a year-long study of long-term unemployment in America and Canada, Cut Loose examines how recent changes in the economy and culture are affecting laid-off workers in the auto industry and elsewhere. It also looks at what we can do to improve the situation for those who have lost out in today’s new economy.

Chen’s previous book was The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America, one of the top-selling sociology books of recent years, which was named by Library Journal as one of the Best Business Books of 2007. Chen’s work has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, BBC News, the Boston Globe, and C-SPAN’s Book TV. He is also the editor of In The Fray, an award-winning magazine devoted to personal stories on global issues. Chen received his degrees from Harvard University and was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He has given talks at MIT, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, and he has been interviewed on radio shows across the country.

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