William Julius Wilson Returns to the Debate on Poverty

His new book argues for the role of jobs and joblessness in determining why some neighborhoods become impoverished

William Julius Wilson is as famous as a sociologist can get, but his fame rests in part on things he never wrote. He knows that in some eyes, he will forever be the man who believes that racism in America magically vanished when Jim Crow was dismantled.

At Washington, D.C.,'s Vertigo Books, a stop on the publicity tour for his new book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor (Alfred A. Knopf), the inevitable question about his previous work comes up within a few