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Pimpare (political science, Yeshiva Coll.; The New Victorians: Poverty, Politics, and Propaganda in Two Gilded Ages) has written a concise and distinctive bottom-up history, arguing that there are myths about America's poor that have been around since our country's founding. Some of the myths include the belief that being poor is a moral failure and that the poor are lazy, buy too many "luxury" items, and have more children just to stay on welfare. Pimpare knocks down these myths one by one, lifting us from our ignorance in the process. The book's strength is the use of firsthand accounts from the poor, but while this is not a comprehensive history of policy, policy is not ignored. Pimpare is honest about his viewpoints, which might put off some politically conservative readers. He supports an improved welfare state, noting that historically, the United States has done a bad job of helping the poor, especially in the last 40 years. His arguments are provocative and are welcome in the study of public policy. Recommended for academic libraries.