Journals Higher Education



Published: 11 April 1996

272 Pages | 13 halftones, 2 linecuts

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195101225

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Bookseller Code (01)

The Color of Welfare

How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty

Jill Quadagno

Thirty years after Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the United States still lags behind most Western democracies in national welfare systems, lacking such basic programs as national health insurance and child care support. Some critics have explained the failure of social programs by citing our tradition of individual freedom and libertarian values, while others point to weaknesses within the working class. In The Color of Welfare, Jill Quadagno takes exception to these claims, placing race at the center of the "American Dilemma."
From Reconstruction to Lyndon Johnson and beyond, Quadagno reveals how American social policy has continually foundered on issues of race. Drawing on extensive primary research, Quadagno shows how the exclusion of African Americans from the core programs of the Social Security Act, white backlash due to the inextricable intertwining of anti-poverty programs (such as job training, community action, health care, housing, and education) with the civil rights movement of the 1960s under Lyndon Johnson's "unconditional war on poverty," and other such inadequacies demonstrates a "continual reconfiguration of racial inequality in the nation's social, political, and economic institutions."
In the 1960s, the United States embarked on a journey to resolve the "American Dilemma." Yet instead of finally instituting full democratic rights for all its citizens, the policies enacted in that turbulent decade failed dismally. The Color of Welfare reveals the root cause of this failure--the inability to address racial inequality.

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