Among the advanced industrial nations, the United States has the most unequal distribution of income. Douglas Massey emphasizes that the purchasing power of households in the top five percent of the income distribution rose sharply from the early 1980s to 2000 while the purchasing power of those in the bottom twenty percent of the income distribution remained constant—proving a much larger economic gap between rich and poor households. This book summarizes an extensive array of studies from a variety of disciplines and cogently describes federal policies that promoted income disparity. Many sections of this book provide lucid information about the changing status of women, shifts in racial disparities, and the consequences of immigration from Mexico. It is not, however, a definitive book about inequality in this nation.
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