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Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare Hardcover – September 14, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1ST edition (September 14, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029124859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029124857
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,377,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Claiming in this cogent, timely study that the Social Security Act of 1935 has failed "to protect its citizens from the cruelties of capitalism," Gordon (Woman's Body, Woman's Right) concerns herself here with the increasing number of minority, stigmatized, single mothers inadequately covered by the Aid to Dependent Children. The ADC, a stepchild, she alleges, of the Act's provisions, resulted in "stratification of programs" which "deepened the already existing social inequalities." This stratification was further exacerbated by low wages for women, creating an underclass of the "hopelessly poor." Welfare reform, Gordon suggests, must address the needs of both children and mothers, offering income support for single parents, while also helping mothers make the transition to becoming "workers supported by wages" and by day care, adequate parental leave policies and medical insurance. Gordon is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this book, Gordon (Women's Body, Women's Right: The History of Birth Control in America, LJ 12/1/76) traces the development of the federal welfare system. Beginning at the early part of this century, she follows events leading up to the Social Security Act of 1935. In so doing she provides fascinating glimpses of the early welfare reform leaders and how their different backgrounds, beliefs, and alliances resulted in a stratified system of public aid in which some recipients are provided with the widely accepted social insurance benefits labeled entitlements while others are given public assistance and looked upon as "welfare" recipients. With a clearer understanding of how and why our welfare system has evolved as it has, Gordon suggests that the time has come to revamp this system to align it with the needs of today more closely. Her book is thoroughly researched, well written, and persuasive in its presentation. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Robert Logsdon, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Linda Gordon is the Florence Kelley Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of numerous books including Dorothea Lange and Impounded, and won the Bancroft Prize for The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. She lives in New York.

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