Poverty in the United States: A Documentary and Reference Guide

Greenwood. Apr. 2018. 350p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440858499. $108; ebk. ISBN 9781440858505. HIST
Burch (lib. director, Univ. of Tennessee at Martin; LJ reviewer) has compiled 70 important primary documents (ranging from excerpts to full-length articles) relating to poverty in the United States, from 1821 to 2017. Each entry begins with the document's date, where it was created, and why it is significant. A short analysis and list of further resources are appended. The book covers different eras of history, state and local perspectives, and the treatment of Native Americans. Those doing research papers will find the "readers guide" useful. The introduction offers a solid overview of the ideas of those in power throughout history. Geoffrey Gilbert's Rich and Poor in America covers a similar topic but has fewer primary documents, and other titles are limited in scope; Lindsey Hanson and Timothy J. Essenburg's The New Faces of American Poverty looks only at the time period 2008–13, and Burch's The Great Society and the War on Poverty examines only 1962–2015. This is a strong source of primary information for student research. General readers will find a firm grounding on which to form opinions about a timely subject.
VERDICT Recommended for high school, undergraduate, and public libraries looking to rebuild their reference collections and support curricula in need of primary sources.
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