Social Policy in the United States: Future Possibilities in Historical Perspective

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"Social Policy in the United States bears out Skocpol's reputation as the preeminent scholar of the history of social policymaking in the United States. This timely publication provides a number of important insights from historical inquiry on the limits and possibilities of current social policymaking."—William Julius Wilson, University of Chicago

"Theda Skocpol's brilliant essays on the development of American social policy quickly became classics as they were published separately over the last decade or so. Now she has brought them together in a book that will be invaluable to scholars and policymakers alike."—Alan Brinkley, Professor of History, Columbia University

"Theda Skocpol has become the sociological analyst of the sources of American social policy. Her new book is must reading for anyone who seeks to understand the way in which we are different from Europe."—Seymour Martin Lipset, Hazel Chair of Public Policy, George Mason University, and Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution

"Of exceptional interest in Theda Skocpol's work is her ability to combine the perspectives of historian, sociologist, and political scientist to illuminate difficult problems of political development. Her explanations of the peculiar evolution of the American welfare state are valuable not only for students and scholars but for all those who wish to learn from the past to make wiser policy choices for the future."—Derek Bok, The 300th Anniversary University Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"This will be an important book with a wide audience . . . Skocpol has deliberately moved back and forth across the line separating political sociology from social policy analysis, a constructive move that enriches both areas."—Frederick Block, University of California, Davis

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Editorial Reviews

An important, provocative, and often persuasive argument.
From the Publisher
"An important, provocative, and often persuasive argument."—Choice
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: American Social Policies: Future Possibilities in Historical Perspective 3
Ch. 1 State Formation and Social Policy in the United States 11
Ch. 2 America's First Social Security System: The Expansion of Benefits for Civil War Veterans 37
Ch. 3 Gender and the Origins of Modern Social Policies in Britain and the United States 72
Ch. 4 The Road to Social Security 136
Ch. 5 Redefining the New Deal: World War II and the Development of Social Provision in the United States 167
Ch. 6 The Limits of the New Deal System and the Roots of Contemporary Welfare Dilemmas 209
Ch. 7 "Brother Can You Spare a Job?" Work and Welfare in the United States 228
Ch. 8 Targeting within Universalism: Politically Viable Policies to Combat Poverty in the United States 250
Ch. 9 Is the Time Finally Ripe? Health Insurance Reforms in the 1990s 275
Ch. 10 From Social Security to Health Security? 293
Conclusion: Remaking U.S. Social Policies for the 21st Century 297
Index 313
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