front cover of Life After Welfare
Life After Welfare
Reform and the Persistence of Poverty
By Laura Lein and Deanna T. Schexnayder; with Karen Manges Douglas and Daniel G. Schroeder
University of Texas Press, 2007

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book

In the decade since President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 into law—amidst promises that it would "end welfare as we know it"—did the reforms ending entitlements and moving toward time limits and work requirements lift Texas families once living on welfare out of poverty, or merely strike their names from the administrative rolls?

Under welfare reform, Texas continued with low monthly payments and demanding eligibility criteria. Many families who could receive welfare in other states do not qualify in Texas, and virtually any part-time job makes a family ineligible. In Texas, most families who leave welfare remain in or near poverty, and many are likely to return to the welfare rolls in the future.

This compelling work, which follows 179 families after leaving welfare, is set against a backdrop of multiple types of data and econometric modeling. The authors' multi-method approach draws on administrative data from nine programs serving low-income families and a statewide survey of families who have left welfare. Survey data on health problems, transportation needs, and child-care issues shed light on the patterns of employment and welfare use seen in the administrative data. In their lives after welfare, the families chronicled here experience poverty even when employed; a multiplicity of barriers to employment that work to exacerbate one another; and a failing safety net of basic human services as they attempt to sustain low-wage employment.


front cover of Lights in the Forest
Lights in the Forest
Rabbis Respond to Twelve Essential Jewish Questions
Rabbi Paul Citrin
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2014

logo for Harvard University Press
The Limits of Reform
The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Imperial Russia, 1802–1881
Daniel T. Orlovsky
Harvard University Press, 1981

front cover of Louis Sébastien Mercier
Louis Sébastien Mercier
Revolution and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Michael J. Mulryan
Bucknell University Press, 2023
French playwright, novelist, activist, and journalist Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740–1814) passionately captured scenes of social injustice in pre-Revolutionary Paris in his prolific oeuvre but today remains an understudied writer. In this penetrating study—the first in English devoted to Mercier in decades—Michael Mulryan explores his unpublished writings and urban chronicles, Tableau de Paris (1781–88) and Le Nouveau Paris (1798), in which he identified the city as a microcosm of national societal problems, detailed the conditions of the laboring poor, encouraged educational reform, and confronted universal social ills. Mercier’s rich writings speak powerfully to the sociopolitical problems that continue to afflict us as political leaders manipulate public debate and encourage absolutist thinking, deepening social divides. An outcast for his polemical views during his lifetime, Mercier has been called the founder of modern urban discourse, and his work a precursor to investigative journalism. This sensitive study returns him to his rightful place among Enlightenment thinkers.

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