The American Welfare State : A Practical Guide book cover
2nd Edition

The American Welfare State
A Practical Guide

ISBN 9781032042213
Published November 10, 2021 by Routledge
134 Pages

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USD $34.95

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Book Description

Through a practical introduction to the policies of the American welfare state—a wide-ranging subject much discussed but seldom described—this concise volume details the four main areas of social welfare policy: housing assistance, nutrition assistance, income assistance, and medical assistance.

In plain, approachable language, author Brian J. Glenn explains, for example, how Section 8 housing vouchers function, what the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is, how Medicare has developed, and what Temporary Aid for Needy Families does. Especially in the era of Covid-19 and a recession, there is a need for citizens and students to understand the American social safety net. The American Welfare State is written in a manner that allows a complete novice to understand these programs in a brisk and comprehensive fashion that is both short enough to read over a couple of nights in a course and yet detailed enough for the programs to be understood at quite a nuanced level.

In this thoroughly updated second edition, author Brian J. Glenn outlines the ways in which social welfare programs differ, sometimes dramatically, from locality to locality. To help students understand how these policies function, Glenn looks at the support households receive in five cities: Boston, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. This approach provides not only a geographic spread but also an examination of the variability of support, giving the reader a feel for the range of funding levels and also the variety of ways programs can be implemented. In short, this book is a fully updated and handy teaching and learning tool that fills a huge gap in the literature on a subject that many want to teach but often lack the resources to do.

Table of Contents

1.  Some Introductory Thoughts on the American Welfare State  2. Income Assistance  3. Housing Assistance  4. Nutrition Assistance  5. Medical Assistance  6. Conclusion

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Brian J. Glenn writes about how Americans care for themselves and others in times of need. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Hamilton College, and Wesleyan University, among others. While teaching at Emerson College, his Development of the American Welfare State class was named by the student newspaper as one of the six courses every student should take before graduating. Brian’s work has received awards from the New England Political Science Association, the Law and Society Association, and the American Risk and Insurance Association.