Who Cares?: Public Ambivalence and Government Activism from the New Deal to the Second Gilded Age

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$24.60
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $26.78
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 13%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $26.78   
  • New (5) from $26.77   
  • Used (2) from $35.74   

Overview

"Americans have long been ambivalent about what is owed the weakest and most vulnerable among us, and public opinion has never been overly generous toward the welfare state. Not everyone is a snarling Scrooge with a heart of stone, but neither does everyone believe we are our brother's keeper--not by a long shot. So what's a President to do in the face of great human need and a divided, indifferent, or even hostile public mind? The answer, in one word, is: Lead. Katherine Newman and Elisabeth Jacobs have produced a timely and absorbing book about how Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and--yes--Richard Nixon refused to leave the fate of public policy toward the poor to a fickle public. Barack Obama, are you listening?"--Bill Moyers

"The deep ambivalence Americans feel about government has always been central to our politics, and it's an especially vital matter now with the rise of Tea Party movements and other assaults on public power. Americans often want a smaller government that does more, a difficult recipe for politicians to follow. That's why Who Cares? is so timely and so important. Katherine Newman and Elisabeth Jacobs have done a superb job tracing the history of our ambivalence and suggesting where we might go from here. They will be the talk of academia--and the talk shows."--E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics

"This timely and important book shows that Americans are willing to support social programs that help the poor and unfortunate--but usually only after those programs have been up and rolling for years. A just society therefore depends on politicians with the courage to lead rather than pander to current public opinion."--Robert B. Reich, professor of public policy, University of California, Berkeley

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice
All who are interested in US public opinion concerning the role of government in support of social programs and the role that leaders can play in supporting or dismantling such programs should read this brief, timely, and well-written gem.
LSE British Politics and Policy blog
[I]n analyzing public opinion in three distinct periods of American political history, Katherine Newman and Elisabeth Jacobs set out some interesting observations for contemporary policy-makers.
— Alastair Hill
Journal of American History
The authors raise important questions about public opinion, policy making, and democracy. Scholars exploring shifts in the American safety net and American politics more generally will have to attend to the authors' arguments and their careful synthesis of public opinion data. Lay audiences and policy makers will find a useful and provocative, though quite general, overview of welfare state development alongside a passionate call for progressive political leadership to address the economic inequality and insecurity of the 'second gilded age.'
— Marisa Chappell
LSE British Politics and Policy blog - Alastair Hill
[I]n analyzing public opinion in three distinct periods of American political history, Katherine Newman and Elisabeth Jacobs set out some interesting observations for contemporary policy-makers.
Journal of American History - Marisa Chappell
The authors raise important questions about public opinion, policy making, and democracy. Scholars exploring shifts in the American safety net and American politics more generally will have to attend to the authors' arguments and their careful synthesis of public opinion data. Lay audiences and policy makers will find a useful and provocative, though quite general, overview of welfare state development alongside a passionate call for progressive political leadership to address the economic inequality and insecurity of the 'second gilded age.'
From the Publisher

"All who are interested in US public opinion concerning the role of government in support of social programs and the role that leaders can play in supporting or dismantling such programs should read this brief, timely, and well-written gem."--Choice

"[I]n analyzing public opinion in three distinct periods of American political history, Katherine Newman and Elisabeth Jacobs set out some interesting observations for contemporary policy-makers."--Alastair Hill, LSE British Politics and Policy blog

"The authors raise important questions about public opinion, policy making, and democracy. Scholars exploring shifts in the American safety net and American politics more generally will have to attend to the authors' arguments and their careful synthesis of public opinion data. Lay audiences and policy makers will find a useful and provocative, though quite general, overview of welfare state development alongside a passionate call for progressive political leadership to address the economic inequality and insecurity of the 'second gilded age.'"--Marisa Chappell, Journal of American History

"Who Cares? makes a contribution by providing a concise history of the interplay between the development of antipoverty policy initiatives and public opinion since the New Deal and by demonstrating consistent themes in attitudes toward the welfare state."--Tracy Roof, Perspectives on Politics

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691135632
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/4/2010
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine S. Newman is the Malcolm Forbes, Class of 1941, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Her many books include "The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America" (with Victor Tan Chen) and "No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City". Elisabeth S. Jacobs is a senior policy adviser to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction Devoted to the Common Good? 1
Chapter 1: Dissent and the New Deal 11
Chapter 2: Warring over the War on Poverty 56
Chapter 3: Economic Anxiety in the New Gilded Age 112
Chapter 4: Searching for "the Better Angels of Our Nature" 149
Notes 167
Bibliography 203
Index 211
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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

Reminder:

  • - 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

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