Many people helped me finish this book. I wish to thank them all and hope to the next time I see them. For now I want to express my thanks to several people for reading and commenting on parts of the manuscript: Rosemary Barbera, Jane Bennett, Nina Berven, Fred Block, Stephen Bronner, Wesley Bryant, Nancy Campbell, William Corlett, Barbara Cruikshank, Anne Dalke, Kennan Ferguson, Richard Fording, Erica Honneycut, Patrick Kaylor, Michal McCall, Marlena Melhunek, Paul Meshejian, Anne Norton, David Osten, Melania Popa, Dorit Roer-Strier, Joan Schram, Ryan Schram, Jack Schram, Corey Shdaimah, Joe Soss, Roni Strier, Jennifer Stotter, Carl Swidorski, John Tambornino, Brianne Wolfe, and Charlie Wolfe. Frances Fox Piven once again challenged me to make my manuscript better. I am forever in her debt for her willingness to share not only her knowledge and insights but also her honesty. Roland Stahl read the entire manuscript in drafts and provided extensive commentary. His close readings and insightful criticisms are most appreciated. Tia Burroughs provided critical research assistance that made a real difference in the manuscript, particularly Chapter 4. I thank all of the students in my political science and social work classes who have challenged me to rethink ideas I have developed in this book. I continue to treasure the opportunity not just to teach my students but to learn from them as well. I want to make a special note of appreciation for my editors at Temple University Press, Peter Wissoker and Alex Holzman. Peter provided not only careful editing but also critical suggestions for framing the manuscript. Peter is a great editor and he has a great sense of humor, too. Alex understood what I was trying to do and helped make it happen. I am forever in his debt. Last, I want to thank Tracey Krulcik for getting back in touch with me after so many years and providing the motivation to write this book. Tracey’s commitment to writing and to writing to make a difference is inspiring. I can only hope that this book reflects some of that inspiration.
Chapter 4 is a revision of “Contextualizing Racial Disparities in American Welfare Reform: Toward a New Poverty Research,” Perspectives on Politics 3, 2 (June 2005): 253–68.