New Victorians: Welfare Reform and Anti-Welfare Reformers in Two Gilded Ages

New Victorians: Welfare Reform and Anti-Welfare Reformers in Two Gilded Ages

by Stephen Pimpare


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A controversial history of the Victorian roots of today's conservativeanti-welfare crusaders.v During the economic boom of the 1990s, arguments about the moral failings of the poor were used to pass welfare reforms heralded as the solution to a system that had failed everyone. Yet, as historian Stephen Pimpare demonstrates in this revealing social history, remarkably similar arguments were used to disastrous effect in campaigns against aid to the poor in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

In The New Victorians, Pimpare reveals the disturbing parallels between the anti-welfare propagandists of the nineteenth century and the elite actors and well-funded policy research organizations of today. Alarmingly, he shows how the New Victorians of today often invoke the rhetoric of their predecessors while ignoring the complete failure of nineteenth-century reforms. The New Victorians goes on to uncover the elite and grassroots resistance in the Gilded Age that paved the way for the counter-reforms of the Progressive Era, revealing urgent lessons toward renewing support for broader state defense of the poor today.

Author Biography: A former director of Artists to End Hunger and the Food & Hunger Hotline, Stephen Pimpare currently teaches politics and history at Hunter College, City University of New York.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565848399
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 07/19/2004
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 656,420
Product dimensions: 7.88(w) x 10.96(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

1Same As It Ever Was13
2Rise of the Reformer42
3Reform: Then Neither Should She Eat82
4Reform Redux: Dethroning the Welfare Queen111
5Results of Reforms142
6The Squeegee Guy and the Tramp169
7Poverty and Propaganda194
Select Bibliography263

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