The Urban Underclass

Christopher Jencks, Paul Peterson
Year of publication: 
Brookings Institution Press
508 pages

The essays in this book try to separate the truth about poverty, social dislocation, and changes in America family life from the myths that have become part of contemporary folklore. These essays also show the reasons for poverty among children, demonstrate that the main issue is not so much a growth in the size of the underclass as the persistence of poverty decades after the country thought it had addressed the problem, and they point out the paradox of poverty in a wealthy nation will continue until society makes greater efforts to provide all citizens with improved educational and economic opportunities as well as adequate income maintenance in times of need.