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From Prophecy to Charity: How to Help the Poor (Values and Capitalism) Paperback – November 15, 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lawrence M. Mead is professor of politics at New York University
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Product Details

  • Series: Values and Capitalism
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Aei Press (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844743801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844743806
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.4 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawrence M. Mead was one of the theoretical architects of welfare reform of the 1990's. This book focuses on identifying the cause of poverty and the cure.

"The difficulty is that poverty involves more than low-income." This key conclusion of Mead does away with that any solution to poverty that focuses on handouts whether it is tax credits, food, or housing. At best these solutions are a band-aid to temporarily solve a problem, at worst they are an enabling solution that destroys dignity and self-initiative of many people. In any case, these programs usually fail.

A more comprehensive solution is to "restore community." Mead suggests that the key problem of the poor is lack of community. The poor are above all isolated, as poor in relationships as they are in resources. Programs to help the poor should help them to reorganize their lives to undertake the standard relationships of society.

Mead points to a Success Sequence: get through school, go to work, marry, have children. The most important of these is marriage. In the middle of all the talk on redefining marriage, the surprising fact is that traditional marriage is becoming a better indicator of whether someone is in poverty than race or even income.

While the word "Prophesy" is in the title, this book is not at all a careful attempt to analyze and synthesize the biblical material on prophesy related to the poor. For example, Mead writes, "While the biblical tradition respects private property, it does in principle permit some transfer of wealth from the better off to help the less fortunate. That is implicit in the prophets' call to the authorities to do more to succor the needy." No reference is given nor explanation how he came to this conclusion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Book on the results of our society's poverty relief efforts and the author's well drawn conclusions on those results. I highly recommend this read if you are working with people in America in poverty or anywhere for that matter.
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By Mimi66 on March 8, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the book was idiotic.
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