The Promise of Welfare Reform: Political Rhetoric and the Reality of Poverty in the Twenty-First Century

Article excerpt

The Promise of Welfare Reform Political Rhetoric and the Reality of Poverty in the Twenty-First Century By Keith M. Kilty and Elizabeth Segal, editors. 329 pages/The Haworth Press. 2006. ISBN-13:978-0-7890-2922-5. Softcover. $34.95

After the landmark 1996 welfare reform legislation, researchers and advocates generated a library of studies about what the policy shift meant for the lives of the poor in the country. The authors argue that many politicians and public officials are celebrating the "success" of welfare reform legislation despite what they call little evidence to support their claims.

The Promise of Welfare Reform: Political Rhetoric and the Reality of Poverty in the Twenty-First Century presents articles from 23 community practitioners and researchers who argue that the reform has turned public aid from a right to a privilege. The authors transcend conventional academic writing, offering careful analysis that examines the history of welfare reform, its connection to poverty, family issues and the impact of racism on poverty and on the treatment of the poor.

The Promise of Welfare Reform analyzes the consequences over the past 10 years of legislative changes made to the public assistance program formerly known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children. …