"Just as the brave new world of welfare reform descends upon the dependent poor, Rebecca Blank, a labor economist at Northwestern University, publishes "It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty"--a book whose forward-looking subtitle belies its touchingly nostalgic message. Blank originally hoped to influence last year's welfare debate, and many of her policy prescriptions might have made sense as modifications of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, now abolished by Congress with Clinton's assent. The Republican insurgency of 1994 radically transformed the welfare-reformdebate. 'Listening to the public statements about the poor, and about the nature and history of U.S. antipoverty efforts, I became increasingly angry,' Blank writes in her preface. Her book in progress took on a new purpose: to bring cool social-science expertise to a politically overheated debate. Ponderous, encyclopedic, unremittingly rational, 'It Takes a Nation' provides an extended tutorial in poverty research. Recent social trends and most antipoverty programs are exhaustively dissected. Questions are answered and myths dispelled."Blank, Rebecca M. is the author of 'It Takes a Nation A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty', published 1998 under ISBN 9780691004013 and ISBN 0691004013.