With welfare reform a burning political issue, this special anniversary edition of the classic history of welfare in America has been revised and updated to include the latest bipartisan debates on how to “end welfare as we know it.”In the Shadow of the Poorhouse examines the origins of social welfare, both public and private, from the days of the colonial poorhouse through the current tragedy of the homeless. The book explains why such a highly criticized system persists.
The Perseus Books Group
Thirty years ago, the great national debate was how to help ordinary, workaday Americans achieve the good things in life. Today, we are preoccupied with—and increasingly divided over—how to cope with the problems of poor and dependent Americans, most of whom cannot or will not work at the jobs available. Mead provides overwhelming and disturbing evidence that passive poverty—the failure of most of the poor to work at all—reflects defeatism more than lack of opportunity.
The subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story of December 8, 1996, David Ellwood is one of the country’s leading experts on poverty. In this book he describes who the poor are, explains why they are poor, and suggests new policies for helping them. Poor Support is a major reinterpretation of the various forms that poverty takes in American families and what can be done to alleviate the problem. (publisher abstract)