Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2008.© 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


This book is a comprehensive examination of poverty in the United States from 1969 to 1999. Its three main objectives are to document the uneven distribution of poverty, to explore its underlying demographic and economic determinants, and to offer policy prescriptions for its amelioration. The analysis of rural poverty is likely to be of most interest to readers of Great Plains Research.

The Geography of American Poverty authoritatively documents the trends and determinants of American poverty across both space and time. Its strength is in its quantitative analysis, but what interests poverty researchers may be tedious for nontechnical audiences. Its weakness is its inadequate discussion of the core theoretical explanations of poverty; the absence of such a discussion limits its use in the classroom.