Douglas S. Massey
The book American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass was coauthored by Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton and published in 1993 by Harvard University Press. It was written at the height of the debate on the “urban underclass,” which focused on whether U.S. cities had come to house a large population of poor families detached from labor markets, alienated from social institutions, and prone to crime. During the 1970s and 1980s, poverty became more concentrated within minority neighborhoods and rates of violence accelerated in a wave of drug abuse that stemmed from the invention of crack, a cheap but very addictive form of cocaine. Prior to American Apartheid, explanations of urban poverty focused on two competing theories. Conservatives such as Charles Murray blamed the U.S. welfare system. He argued that by providing generous open-ended benefits to poor mothers, welfare discouraged marriage, promoted unwed childbearing, and Neither ...