Three worlds of relief race, immigration, and the American welfare state from the Progressive Era to the New Deal /

Three Worlds of Relief examines the role of race and immigration in the development of the American social welfare system by comparing how blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants were treated by welfare policies during the Progressive Era ...

Main Author: Fox, Cybelle.
Corporate Author: JSTOR books.
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2012.
Series: Princeton studies in American politics.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

The "three worlds" in the title refers to the diverse experiences of blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants during the development of the US social welfare system. Not surprisingly, when it came to receiving benefits, Europeans fared better than the others did. Ethnicity played a determinant part in deciding who got what treatment, but so did location. Southerners, for example, saw relief services rendered to African Americans as a threat to whites' power over them; westerners considered Mexicans to be migrant workers rather than permanent members of the community. Thoroughly researched and well written, the book enhances the literature on immigration and ethnicity. Similar to Diana Selig's Americans All (2008), the study extends beyond the 1920s, a common ending date due to the imposition of restrictive immigrant quotas. Inclusion of Asian Americans would have added an interesting dimension to the analyses of the other groups. Historians may find the conceptualization too sociological (Fox is a sociologist at Berkeley), with an emphasis on ideas and practices in historical content rather than stressing their development and change over time. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic audiences in both history and sociology; social services professionals; general readers. R. F. Zeidel University of Wisconsin--Stout

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.