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Poverty in Common: The Politics of Community Action During the American Century Paperback – March 23, 2012


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Poverty in Common: The Politics of Community Action During the American Century + Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality and the Law in the North American West (American Crossroads) + The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Goldstein's book is an exemplary history of midtwentiethcentury liberalism. The emphasis on Cold War convergence between domestic and international discourse around 'underdevelopment' highlights the strengthening of U.S. empire during this period. Moreover, the argument that 'the poor' are constructed by liberals as a monolithic, foreign body in a liberal democracy is persuasive and worth considering further in current discussions of global capitalism." - Rose Ernst, Political Science Quarterly

"[A]nyone interested in American studies, especially scholars of radical politics, social movements, and social welfare, will be impressed by this timely and erudite volume." - Mark Edward Braun, American Historical Review

"Goldstein puts community-based initiatives of the midcentury into a longer historical context" and "draws new connections between U.S. antipoverty policies and economic development projects in U.S. territories and the Third World, both of which were shaped by Cold War geopolitics and reactions to the rise of anticolonial insurrections abroad." - Ian Breckenridge-Jackson, Jermaine Cathcart, and Ellen Reese, Mobilization

"Poverty in Common challenges us to think anew about the meaning of community action in twentieth-century liberal reform politics. Alyosha Goldstein builds on wide-ranging historical research to uncover the deep-seated tensions that defined community-based antipoverty programs from the start, and to document what happened when officially sanctioned strategies of civic order and social incorporation came up against locally mobilized strategies of political disruption aimed at challenging the social and economic status quo. This is a history more of struggle and stalemate than of triumph and defeat. In Goldstein's able hands, it is vital and illuminating."—Alice O'Connor, author of Poverty Knowledge


"Poverty in Common is a highly original and nuanced study of how 'the government of poverty' at home and abroad became central to postwar US liberalism and its distinctive precipitates of violence and reform, force and freedom, democracy and empire."—Nikhil Pal Singh, author of Black Is a Country


"Poverty in Common is an insightful analysis of how community development figured in liberal reformist and nation-building programs in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. As Alyosha Goldstein argues so convincingly, liberals depended on assertions of community participation and even required that oppressed populations be made to participate in a reformist agenda. Yet liberals circumscribed that participation by pushing aside pressing questions about structural inequality, entrenched racism, and the redistribution of resources. Poverty in Common offers a compelling way to think about the powerful appeal and ultimate demise of postwar American liberalism.”—Michael E. Latham, author of The Right Kind of Revolution


“The book provides a fresh take on the concept and history of Community Action. A particular strong point of the book is its analysis of the international dimension of community development and how ideas of community participation guided US foreign policy in the postwar period. . . . Poverty in Common, should be on any War on Poverty or Community Action specialist’s reading list.”
(David Torstensson Journal of Children and Poverty)

"[A]nyone interested in American studies, especially scholars of radical politics, social movements, and social welfare, will be impressed by this timely and erudite volume."
(Mark Edward Braun American Historical Review)

“Goldstein’s book is an exemplary history of mid-twentieth-century liberalism. The emphasis on Cold War convergence between domestic and international discourse around ‘underdevelopment’ highlights the strengthening of U.S. empire during this period. Moreover, the argument that ‘the poor’ are constructed by liberals as a monolithic, foreign body in a liberal democracy is persuasive and worth considering further in current discussions of global capitalism."
(Rose Ernst Political Science Quarterly)

Poverty in Common is an eloquent contribution to a vast literature that seeks to explain the persistence and spread of poverty at the heart of the most affluent nation on earth...A real virtue of the book, particularly for those who are not students of the US, is Goldstein’s careful integration of US foreign policy imperatives with its domestic policy bent.”
(Elizabeth Vibert Labour/Le Travail)

“Amid a sea of historical scholarship on the evolution of modern conservatism in the United States, Alyosha Goldstein offers a provocative new interpretation of midtwentieth-century liberalism…. [T]his book should become required reading not only for scholars of the War on Poverty and 1960s liberalism but anybody engaged in questions of twentieth-century US political, policy or social movement history.”
(Marisa Chappell Social History)

About the Author

Alyosha Goldstein is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of New Mexico.


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