Review of Edwin Amenta, Bold Relief: Institutional Politics and the Origins of Modern American Social Policy

Sociological Forum, Vol. 15, No. I, 2000

4 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Frank Dobbin

Frank Dobbin

Harvard University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

In Bold Relief, Edwin Amenta sets aside the conventional wisdom that the American welfare state was destined to be backward. He asks what might have been had the New Deal system of jobs provision and relief survived World War II. To do this he rejects the current view of the 1930s, as a time when a piecemeal system of social insurance emerged that set the stage for the future, and considers what policymakers of the 1930s envisioned. The title of the book, Bold Relief captures the system they put into place. That system transformed the United States from a social insurance laggard into the world's leader. The two pillars were a conventional cash aid program and an aggressive public employment program to provide jobs for those who were disappointed by the private sector.

Suggested Citation

Dobbin, Frank, Review of Edwin Amenta, Bold Relief: Institutional Politics and the Origins of Modern American Social Policy (2000). Sociological Forum, Vol. 15, No. I, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412220

Frank Dobbin (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Sociology ( email )

33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
5
Abstract Views
191
PlumX Metrics