A Letter From The Publisher, Aug. 29, 1977

It is a cruel paradox that in the midst of general prosperity, America has spawned a hard-core group of disaffected people—an all but lost generation of men and women almost permanently without jobs, without education, and without hope of getting either. Our cover story, written by George Russell and researched by Nation Reporter-Researchers Anita Addison, Edward Adler and Agnes Clark, examines this under class and the overwhelming problems that set it apart even among the poor.

For this story, 16 correspondents in eight bureaus took to the streets to interview hundreds of poor people,...

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