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Piven and Cloward have updated their classic work on the history and function of welfare to cover the American welfare state's massive erosion during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years. The authors present a boldly comprehensive, brilliant new theory to explain the comparative underdevelopment of the U.S. welfare state among advanced industrial nations. Their conceptual framework promises to shape the debate within current and future administrations as they attempt to rethink the welfare system and its role in American society. "Uncompromising and provocative....By mixing history, political interpretation and sociological analysis, Piven and Cloward provide the best explanation to date of our present situation...no future discussion of welfare can afford to ignore them." --Peter Steinfels, The New York Times Book Review
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