Current Issue

What Has Happened to the American Working Class since the Great Recession?
Special Editors: Timothy M. Smeeding, Jennifer Romich, and Michael R. Strain

Vol. 695, May 2021

Dramatic macroeconomic events have marked the first 21 years of the twenty-first century. The Great Recession (2007–2009), the largest and longest downturn since the Great Depression, was followed by the longest recovery in U.S. history. Of course, the Long Recovery then ended with a pandemic bang in March 2020. Though the Long Recovery was lengthy, it was also uneven. The Great Recession affected households in different socioeconomic circumstances quite differently. And so, the story of the Long Recovery from the Great Recession is not simple to tell.

The May 2021 volume of The ANNALS, “What Has Happened to the American Working Class since the Great Recession?” tells the story from the perspectives of economics, demography, sociology, and policy. Special editors Timothy M. Smeeding, Jennifer Romich, and Michael R. Strain bring together scholars from these disciplines to address, for example, what more than a decade of economic expansion following the Great Recession did for the working class and various groups of disadvantaged workers.

The articles in this volume give both hope and concern, as they provide a solid starting point for assessing the future of the working class.

From the Archives

Truth as a Weapon in the Free World
Vol. 278, November, 1951
Richard Brecker

From the Introduction

In an address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 20, 1950, President Truman declared that it was necessary for us to “make ourselves heard round the world in a great campaign of truth.” Calling attention to the vital importance of the psychological front in the present battle for world friendship, the President noted that the task of presenting the truth “to the millions who are uninformed or misinformed or unconvinced… is not separate and distinct from other elements of our foreign policy. It is as important as armed strength or economic aid.  ‘We must,’ he said, ‘pool our efforts with those of the other free peoples in a sustained, intensified program to promote the cause of freedom against the propaganda of slavery.'”