Poverty and Dependency

America, 1950s to the Present

John Macnicol ,

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Poverty and Dependency: America, 1950s to the Present

About the eBook

This incisive book addresses the history of poverty in the US, investigating how those in need have been understood and governed during the last 70 years. John Macnicol launches a multi-faceted analysis of government attitudes to welfare and 'dependency', highlighting the impact on the poorest groups of American society.

  Poverty in the US is explored through the eyes of prominent liberals, including Gunnar Myrdal, John Kenneth Galbraith and Michael Harrington, in times of economic growth and recession, from the New Deal to the rise of neoliberalism. Macnicol also examines the career and ascendancy of the leading conservative, Charles Murray, and his contention that America suffered a growing 'underclass' largely created by over-generous welfare. Through analysis of the mechanisms and output of leading conservative think-tanks in the late twentieth century, the author identifies the key features of historic and contemporary discussions related to poverty and dependency in the US and the dynamic changes of American attitudes to its poorest constituents.

A timely discussion for a period of economic cynicism, this book is crucial reading for scholars of social policy, particularly those examining the history of impoverishment and debates relating to poverty and dependency. Students of social policy, sociology and economics will also benefit from its insights into historic US government attitudes and reactions to poverty.

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