A collection of short, sophisticated, readable essays. Schorr is a social worker concerned with the premises and consequences of government policies toward the family, the city, and the poor. His analyses of aid to dependent children and of the filial responsibilities of adult children are especially successful in untangling ethical and social influences on programs (which themselves become significant influences). In general, Schorr criticizes past programs, inadequate or misdirected research, discrepancies between nominal and actual objectives. He raises broad questions in the course of his specific investigations of community services, income maintenance, housing, and poverty. He doesn't really try to answer them but relates them to central methodological issues in an unusually lucid and suggestive manner. Less rigorous than the work of British welfare theoreticians like Titmuss and Runciman, the book exhibits a more humane breadth, drawing on psychological and historical studies as well as administrative and social-scientific data. It is recommended for general readers as well as scholars and social-service professionals.