In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America

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Overview

In this history, Katz explores the roots of our ambivalence toward welfare and the welfare state, revealing the patterns which have recurred from era to era and which continue to frustrate reformers to this day. From the poorhouse era to the New Deal, from the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare, Katz provides the long perspective so often missing from the debates over "ending welfare as we know it." And this tenth anniversary edition contains an expanded introduction and a new concluding chapter, bringing the story to the present and analyzing the politics that lie behind the welfare reform act of 1996.

This controversial history of welfare in America argues that government must be the source of social progress.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to Katz, the American welfare system that nobody likes has been able to resist fundamental change over two centuries because of its symbiosis with the social structure and the political economy. From his analysis of the history of welfare in the United States he finds that there have always been contradictions among its goals: deterrence, discipline, compassion, control, and patronage. Real reform, unlikely in the near future, would require that both social insurance and public assistance be replaced with full employment at fair pay, complemented by a social wage to all who are unable to work or find a suitable job. A stimulating challenge to the benevolent interpretation of welfare in America; recommended for academic and large public libraries. Harry Frumerman , formerly with Economics Dept., Hunter Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465032266
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1988
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Michael B. Katz is the Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous books on social policy in America, including The Underserving Poor and Improving Poor People.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 The Origins and Failure of the Poorhouse 3
2 Outdoor Relief 37
3 The Theory and Practice of Scientific Charity 60
4 The Transformation of the Poorhouse 88
5 Saving Children 117
6 Reorganizing Cities 151
7 Reorganizing the Labor Market 185
8 Reorganizing the Nation 213
9 The War on Poverty and the Expansion of Social Welfare 259
10 The War on Welfare 283
11 Redefining the Welfare State [1996] 300
Notes 335
Acknowledgments 373
Index of Authors and Names 375
Index of Subjects 383
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