Let me start with the one with the most striking insights: Drake Bennett's The Sting of Poverty: "What bees and dented cars can teach about what it means to be poor - and the flaws of economics."
Martha Nussbaum on mean-spirited prostitution laws: "these are laws that never should have existed."
In Admission Impossible (which also doubles up as a review of a bunch of books), Keith Gessen discusses the brutal competition for admission into America's elite schools, and the kinds of things people are willing to do (including a serious con job!).
Bonus link: Provoked in part by Gessen's essay, Kathy G has an extended commentary on inequality in the US.