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Three Worlds of Relief:
Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal
Cybelle Fox

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"Fox has set a scholarly agenda for a new social history of the American welfare state that will integrate the Southwest into a story largely about the Deep South and Northeast and that will bring Mexican immigrants into narratives told largely in black-and-white. Most importantly, this book and the work that will follow it has the potential to show how essential an active welfare state is to making immigration a driver of individual economic opportunity and national economic growth."--Jeffrey Helgeson, Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"Fox's work is intended to inject new perspective into current debates about relief, citizenship, and state aid. It succeeds in reframing our understanding of the origins of the welfare state, and deserves to be widely read by scholars of immigration history, political history, and social history."--Sarah Elvins, Labour

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Three Worlds of Relief is theoretically important, empirically rich, and a major contribution to scholarship on race, immigration, and welfare policy. Fox brings together the experiences of Mexicans, white immigrants, and African Americans into a single account, in the process enriching current knowledge of each group's history in the United States and illuminating how these histories fed into government policy. Three Worlds of Relief is an outstanding work of scholarship. Fox traces the distinct paths of blacks, Mexicans, and white immigrants as they were incorporated into the American welfare state in the key decades culminating in the New Deal. Her argument is fresh and original, her research meticulous, and her prose elegant. Three Worlds of Relief is an intellectual tour de force that sets a new scholarly agenda"--Desmond King, author of Separate and Unequal: African Americans and the U.S. Federal Government

"Cybelle Fox's Three Worlds of Relief demonstrates that U.S. social policies in their formative years provided disparate treatment by race and ethnicity. Political, labor-market, and racial contexts advantaged European immigrants and disadvantaged African Americans and Mexican immigrants. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the origins of the uneven U.S. welfare state, its race and ethnic politics, and political dilemmas today."--Edwin Amenta, University of California, Irvine

"Three Worlds of Relief is an original study that significantly enhances our understanding of the historical boundaries of social citizenship in the United States. Cybelle Fox reveals how different political systems and race and labor market relations in three separate regions of the country resulted in profoundly dissimilar experiences for blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants in the American welfare system. This insightful book is a must-read."--William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

"Three Worlds of Relief is a tour de force of historical analysis that presents a bold reinterpretation of U.S. welfare provision during the early decades of the twentieth century. I know of no work that offers a more compelling account of how poor relief in this era was shaped by the interplay of race, immigration, and political economy. Emphasizing regional differences across a decentralized system, Cybelle Fox challenges longstanding assumptions in U.S. welfare scholarship. Her study is a major contribution to the field."--Joe Soss, University of Minnesota

"Rigorously researched, clearly argued, and written with verve and style, Three Worlds of Relief is a pathbreaking study of the interplay of race, labor, and politics in the building of America's welfare state. Fox brings a fresh and important new perspective to the study of American political development that could not be more timely. This is an excellent book."--Robert C. Lieberman, author of Shaping Race Policy

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File created: 9/9/2014

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