Why does poverty persist? A critical, but so far ignored, part of the answer lies in the fact that poverty is regularly created. Large numbers of people are escaping poverty, but large numbers are concurrently falling into chronic poverty. This book presents the first large-scale examination of the reasons why people fall into poverty and how they escape it in diverse contexts. Drawing upon personal interviews with 35,000 households in different parts of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and the United States, it takes you on an illustrative journey, filled with facts, analyses, and the life stories of people who fell into abject poverty and others who managed to escape their seemingly predetermined fates. Letting a farmhand's son or daughter remain a farmhand, even though he or she is potentially the next Einstein, is a tragedy that poor people witness time after time. Remedying this situation is crucial for making poverty history. This book addresses how equal opportunity can be promoted and how slum-born millionaires can arise in reality. Speaking to Barack Obama's message for more effective health care, One Illness Away feeds directly into current public debates. Learning from thousands of individual experiences, this book presents a clear agenda for action and provides more effective ways of keeping people out of micro poverty traps.