Homelessness: A Documentary and Reference Guide

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ABC-CLIO, 2012 - Political Science - 389 pages
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The terms historically used to describe them include "bums," "hoboes," "migrants," "street people," "transients," "tramps," and "vagrants." Just as varied as the words we have used to describe them are the reasons many people have found themselves living in the land of opportunity without permanent residence.

The book considers homelessness and its distinctive character in three periods of American history: the era of tramps and hoboes in the late 1800s-early 1900s, the era of transients and migrants in the 1930s, and the era of homeless and "street" people in the last 40 years. It clarifies the multiple meanings of the word "homeless" today and demonstrates that homelessness is a symptom of more than one problem, leading to confusion about the issue of homelessness and hampering attempts to reduce its occurrence. Author Neil Larry Shumsky, PhD, also postulates that the treatment of homelessness in England before the colonization of North America laid the foundation of pervasive American attitudes and practices.


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Homelessness: A Documentary and Reference Guide

User Review  - Samantha Schmehl Hines - Book Verdict

Shumsky (history, Virginia Tech) has published many books and articles on urban and immigration history. This work primarily examines homelessness during three periods in U.S. history: the late 1800s ... Read full review


Words and Numbers
Hoboes Tramps and Bums 17901930
Migrants and Transients 19301960
Street People Bag Ladies and Homeless People
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About the author (2012)

Neil Larry Shumsky, PhD, teaches history at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. He has been a member of the history department at Virginia Tech since 1972.

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