The poor have been a part of the U.S. population since the founding of the nation, although society’s attitude toward them has changed over time. Poverty in America examines the lives and experiences of the poor throughout the United States from colonial times to the present, covering trends, events, facts, figures, and anything else related to this topic. Featuring first-person accounts from the poor themselves as well as from charity and government workers and other observers, this insightful new volume seeks to highlight the lives of this underprivileged class of people, as well as dispel the myths surrounding their role in society as “the poor.” The author examines important issues such as the changing attitudes toward poverty, the differences between urban and rural poverty, the welfare system, the Great Depression, and the "War on Poverty." The unique problems of various groups represented among the chronically poornamely migrant workers, American Indians, residents of Appalachia, African Americans, single-family households headed by women, and the aging, as well as those who are classified as the “new poor,” a group that includes displaced farm and factory workers and their familiesare also addressed.
Each chapter begins with a detailed narrative that sheds important light on the story of the poorand thus on the history of the United States. Chronologies of important events follow, along with eyewitness testimonies from Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Kozol, and hundreds of others living in and fighting against poverty. This volume also features relevant primary source documents, including the Emancipation Proclamation, the Social Security Act, and the Economic Opportunity Act. Additional features that will be useful to students include concise biographies of 55 important individuals, such as Jane Addams and Booker T. Washington, 95 black-and-white photographs and illustrations, as well as maps, graphs, tables, a glossary, appendixes, notes, a thorough bibliography, and an index.
Black-and-white photographs and illustrations. Maps, graphs, and tables. Index. Appendixes. Bibliography. Glossary. Chronologies. Notes.
About the Author(s)
Catherine Reef holds a B.A. in English from Washington State University, where she also did graduate work. She is the author of 35 books, including Facts On File’s Black Explorers (selected by the New York Public Library as a “1997 Book for the Teen Age”), Africans in America (selected by the NYPL as a “2000 Book for the Teen Age”), A to Z of African Americans in the Military, Childhood in America, and Working in America (also in the American Experience series).