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Boise State Book Examines Local Effects of the Great Recession

By: Sherry Squires   Published 12:04 pm / May 2, 2012

Shockwaves of the Great Recession hit the Boise-Meridian area especially hard, according to a new book from the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs (SSPA) at Boise State University.

“Down and Out in Ada County: Coping with the Great Recession, 2008-2012,” explores the connection between hard times and sprawling suburbanization. The value of housing fell more than 40 percent during three years in Meridian and Boise, where the economy was built mostly on housing construction. The book considers impacts on employment, social services, legal aid, city budgets, education and real estate loans.

Illustrated with photographs and charts, it compares the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Reagan Recession of 1982 to our own times.

“Down and Out in Ada County” is edited by Todd Shallat, director of Boise State’s Center for Idaho History and Politics, along with Larry Burke, Samia Islam, Bethan Steward and David Eberle. Student authors include Steve Xia, Dennis O’Dell, Daniel Gans, Kelsey Wilson, Ashley Cross, Laurie Rodges, Simon Clifford and Trevor Page.

It is the third book in the SSPA Investigate Boise Series. In the summer and fall, students work with professors and city professionals to produce focused, accessible research on important municipal issues. The work of top students is included in a book.

“One objective is to connect students to future employers. Another is to promote the kind of civic engagement that informs policy and gives students a more active voice,” Shallat said.

All three books in the series are available for $14.95 each at the Boise State University Center on Main (1020 W. Main Street, Boise) and soon will be available online at Members of the community who make a $25 gift to the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs become friends of the college and get their choice of a book from previous years as well as a copy of the new one.  For more information, visit