Improving Poor People: The Welfare State, the "Underclass," and Urban Schools as History / Edition 1

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Overview

"Michael Katz is perhaps the premier historian of American social welfare. And in the case of his work, it really is true that an understanding of the past illuminates the present, and especially the present debacle over welfare reform."--Frances Fox Piven

"Michael Katz is not just the leading historian of urban poverty and social policy in the United States; he is of that rare breed of scholars who believes in changing the world he interprets. And as he demonstrates in these powerful, moving essays on welfare reform, the 'underclass' debate, and urban education, interpreting the past is not only essential for creating a different future but often just as difficult. By consistently putting people at the center of the story--their actions, their mistakes, their conflicts, their visions--Katz reminds us why grand theories or single-issue panaceas cannot stand in for careful historical research. His deeply personal account of his struggle to straddle the worlds of academics and activism adds a rich dimension to an already razor-sharp and hardnosed analysis. Anyone truly concerned about the plight of America's inner cities must read this book."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Race Rebels: Culture, Politics and the Black Working Class

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Editorial Reviews

Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences
A must reading for all social workers ... interested in the current debate about the role of government in social welfare. Katz's keen historical analysis informs us what our response to need has been and poses questions that we need to ask to avoid future errors.
— Edward J. Gumz
Journal of American History - Molly Ladd-Taylor
As a concise overview of twenty-five years of writing on poverty, welfare, and public education, this is an exceptionally valuable and important book....It will be read widely by social scientists, policy makers, and concerned citizens.
Families in Society - Edward J. Gumz
A must reading for all social workers ... interested in the current debate about the role of government in social welfare. Katz's keen historical analysis informs us what our response to need has been and poses questions that we need to ask to avoid future errors.
The Nation - Kai Erikson
No historian has written more wisely on urban poverty and social welfare policy in this country, and [Katz] is at his commanding best here.
From the Publisher

"As a concise overview of twenty-five years of writing on poverty, welfare, and public education, this is an exceptionally valuable and important book....It will be read widely by social scientists, policy makers, and concerned citizens."--Molly Ladd-Taylor, Journal of American History

"A must reading for all social workers ... interested in the current debate about the role of government in social welfare. Katz's keen historical analysis informs us what our response to need has been and poses questions that we need to ask to avoid future errors."--Edward J. Gumz, Families in Society

"A provocative, stimulating exploration that clarifies which approaches in the ever-contentious debate over the "right" approach to poverty are genuinely new and which are generations old."--Booklist

"No historian has written more wisely on urban poverty and social welfare policy in this country, and [Katz] is at his commanding best here."--Kai Erikson, The Nation

Journal of American History
As a concise overview of twenty-five years of writing on poverty, welfare, and public education, this is an exceptionally valuable and important book....It will be read widely by social scientists, policy makers, and concerned citizens.
— Molly Ladd-Taylor
Families in Society

A must reading for all social workers ... interested in the current debate about the role of government in social welfare. Katz's keen historical analysis informs us what our response to need has been and poses questions that we need to ask to avoid future errors.
— Edward J. Gumz

Booklist
A provocative, stimulating exploration that clarifies which approaches in the ever-contentious debate over the "right" approach to poverty are genuinely new and which are generations old.
The Nation
No historian has written more wisely on urban poverty and social welfare policy in this country, and [Katz] is at his commanding best here.
— Kai Erikson
Booklist
A provocative, stimulating exploration that clarifies which approaches in the ever-contentious debate over the "right" approach to poverty are genuinely new and which are generations old.
Families in Society
A must reading for all social workers ... interested in the current debate about the role of government in social welfare. Katz's keen historical analysis informs us what our response to need has been and poses questions that we need to ask to avoid future errors.
— Edward J. Gumz
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691016054
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.09 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix
INTRODUCTION 3
CHAPTER ONE. The Welfare State 19
CHAPTER TWO. The "Underclass" 60
CHAPTER THREE. Urban Schools 99
CHAPTER FOUR. Surviving Poverty 144
INDEX 173
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