DOWN AND OUT IN THE USA: A History of Social Welfare by Lucy Komisar

DOWN AND OUT IN THE USA: A History of Social Welfare

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Packed with facts, quotes and salient examples, this extensively researched survey follows every twist and turn in America's social welfare policies -- including the notorious ""phantom father"" laws and Nixon's equally elusive FAP bill -- only to suggest that we haven't moved far beyond the anachronistic philosophy of the Poor Laws. Komisar's careful statistics and specific discussions of racial stereotypes and the double standard applied to working mothers all help chip away at prevalent myths about welfare ""chiselers,"" but though she justly condemns the work ethic as irrelevant, a brief summary of Theobald's guaranteed income plan and Friedman's negative income only barely suggests the alternative possibilities. While never reaching far into discussion of the underlying problems like unemployment and social dislocation or exploring comparative solutions in other countries, Komisar covers narrowly defined topics such as welfare rights and postwar legislation in considerable depth. A very useful background source for high school students and interested adults.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1973
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Franklin Watts