Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 08/02/2015
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (39) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $6.82   
  • Used (29) from $1.99   


With a new introduction by the author, this tenth anniversary edition of the classic book argues that the ambitious social programs of the Great Society designed to help the poor and disadvantaged often made things worse.

This outspoken, explosive book argues that the ambitious social programs of the Great Society made things worse.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Murray, coauthor of The Bell Curve, argued that the social programs of the '60s and the '70s worsened the plight of the poor and minorities. This 10th anniversary issue includes a new introduction by the author. (Jan.)
John C. Marshall
Mr. Murray suffers from the besetting problem of the right - an inability to define any meaning for equality beyond equal opportunity. He does not reckon with the insistence of most Americans that social policy define some kind of community in which everyone has a place, regardless of his or her fortunes in the marketplace. Books of the Century, New York Times review March, 1986
From the Publisher
Myron Magnet
“There’s no better proof of the adage that ideas have consequences than Charles Murray’s Losing Ground: in its argument, and in the fact that it changed the world.”

Newt Gingrich
“One of the pivotal books around which American history turned.”

David Frum
“One of the outstanding works of the pioneering era of conservative thought.”

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465042333
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 346
  • Sales rank: 329,642
  • Lexile: 1300L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Murray is W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. A prominent political scientist and author, he first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, which served as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. He is the author of several other books, including the New York Times bestseller The Bell Curve, Coming Apart, What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Real Education, and the forthcoming By the People. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from MIT and lives near Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

A Note on Presentation
Introduction to the 2015 Edition


A Generous Revolution

1. The Kennedy Transition
2. “The System Is to Blame”
3. Implementing the Elite Wisdom

Being Poor, Being Black: 1950–1980

4. Poverty
5. Employment
6. Wages and Occupations
7. Education
8. Crime
9. The Family
10. The View from 1966

Interpreting the Data

11. The Social Scientists and the Great Experiment
12. Incentives to Fail I: Maximizing Short-Term Gains
13. Incentives to Fail II: Crime and Education
14. The Destruction of Statues Rewards

Rethinking Social Policy

15. What Do We Want to Accomplish?
16. The Constraints on Helping
17. Choosing a Future

Appendix: The Data
Glossary on Source Abbreviations

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2006

    The best book I have ever read.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in poverty and welfare.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)