Read “American Dream Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare” by Jason DeParle with Rakuten Kobo. In this definitive work, two-time. In this definitive work, two-time Pulitzer finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce. American Dream has ratings and reviews. Larry said: I have been a Jason DeParle is a journalist who covered welfare for the NY Times. The book.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Depaarle for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Bill Clinton’s drive to “end welfare” sent 9 million women and children streaming from the rolls.

In this depafle work, New York Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean dearle of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce the definitive account. As improbable as fiction, and equally fast-paced, this classic of li Bill Clinton’s drive to “end welfare” sent 9 million women and children streaming from the rolls.

As improbable as fiction, and equally fast-paced, this classic of literary journalism has captured the acclaim of the Left and Right. At the heart of the story are three cousins, inseparable at the start but launched on differing arcs. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart in her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that threatens her kids and her life. DeParle traces back amegican family history six generations drean slavery, and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic.

At times, the very idea of America seemed on trial: Paperbackpages. Published August 30th by Penguin Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about American Dreamplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. I have been a welfare worker in and This book is true to life. Welfare is edparle gambling. You can give incorrect information or omit to give some required bit of information.

If you are not “caught,” you will get more money. Welfare is usually below subsistence level. If you are a mother and your children are suffering whatever your definition isyou might elect to withhold or provide fa I have been a welfare worker in and If you are a mother and your children are suffering whatever your definition isyou might elect to withhold or provide false information to increase your benefits and alleviate some of that suffering.

Or the rules might be very complex but people learn the “right” answer to qualify for welfare. Caseloads are usually huge. Verification of information is often lacking. Even when it is determined that someone has given incorrect information it may not even be considered cheating; maybe just a mistake or a misunderstandingthe penalty may be to be required to repay the erroneous amount.

So gambling that you might win for a lot of reasons and that usually the penalty is to repay, leaving you with the amount you would have received if you had not gambled. So you might get caught. But there is a good chance you will not be caught. And even if you are caught the penalty might not be that severe.

What amazes me is that more people don’t lie. Or maybe I just never figured out how many were really lying. May 04, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: It took me two weeks to read this book, which is a bit unusual.

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I kept putting it down at first, not because it’s bad, but because it was bothering me so much. American Dream is a book about public policy, ameican it’s told in a narrative fashion.

The author–the ‘poverty reporter’ for the New York Times, traces the lives of three young women living in Milwaukee during the s during the end of the federal welfare program. I’ve previously read a very comprehensive policy book on anti-poverty progr It took me two weeks to read this book, which is a bit unusual. I’ve previously read a very comprehensive policy book on anti-poverty programs in America America’s Struggle Against Poverty deparls the 20th Century by James T.

Patterson so I was familiar with the history of these programs. What was so captivating about this book was the author’s use of real people in telling the story of urban poverty in our country, and his ability to humanize the triumphs and tragedies of our welfare system. The story follows the lives of three cousins, all female, all unmarried, all with children ten kids all together; I lost track of how many different dads who move from Chicago to Milwaukee, WI because the welfare benefits were more generous.

The author traces their family back to a common depzrle, a slave in Mississippi.

‘American Dream’: The Effects of Welfare Reform : NPR

The next generations were sharecroppers who lived in circumstances not unlike slavery, until the parents of the young women migrate north, and have their own children, including the young amercian whose lives the author documents–Opal, Jewell, and Angie. To say that the relationships between the young moms and their various family smerican, children, boyfriends, and the fathers of their kids are convoluted is an understatement.

I could barely keep track of who was who. There were several points that struck me: First, the author makes the generational gravity of poverty very apparent. In other words, those deparrle are born black and poor have ddream difficulty moving out of poverty and into the working class. The sheer weight of their family problems, their oppressive neighborhoods, their health issues, and the complete lack of role models, is astonishing.

Second, the women the author follows make incredibly stupid choices. They are not unintelligent people by any means, but they just do remarkably dumb shit that makes their lives so much harder.

Even when presented with opportunities for success, they can’t seem to get off their asses long enough amerivan grasp at them. And–let me put this as mildly as I can–their ddparle skills leave a bit to be desired. Finally, the TANF program itself is a joke. The federal government wasted tens of millions of dollars on the states by issuing block grants that were pissed away by unscrupulous private contractors who had every incentive to ignore the needs of their very vulnerable clients.

Anyone who tells you we need to privatize Medicare should read this book; these people make Blackwater seem ethical. This was a long, complex book that I kept walking away from because it both horrified and angered me in equal measure. No matter what the government did–write checks, force people to get jobs, hand out rent assistance, health care, food stamps, education, training–it made very little difference in the lives of these women and their children.

As the author put it paraphrase: After welfare reform, these people were poor, living in dangerous neighborhoods without adequate food or medical care. It makes you want to bang your head against a zmerican.

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In the fifty years since Johnson’s Great Society programs and the War on Poverty began, we ameican spent trillions of dollars on dreqm of social uplift. The poverty rate today is just about the same as it was back in drram s. That, to me, is the way to take on poverty: Yes, still help out with rent and food and medical care; that’s essential That does not work.

Maybe nothing will work. A remarkable, thought-provoking, and difficult book. Much to reflect on. Mar 25, Lobstergirl rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This book – about the effects on three Milwaukee families of Clinton’s drive to radically alter welfare in the s by making women work – grew on me.

I think perhaps it could be better organized; it flops around chronologically and topically, and akerican subject matter would be better served by something more linear. The book focuses on three women, but there are enough relatives, ancestors, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and crack addict buddies that clarity and simplicity in the narrative become This book – about the effects on three Milwaukee families of Clinton’s drive to radically alter welfare in the s by making women work – grew on me.

The book focuses on three women, but there are enough relatives, ancestors, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and crack addict buddies that clarity and simplicity in the americam become very important. It also seems to be inevitable in books written by middle class white men about poor black women that something will make you cringe.

American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare

For me, it was “Angie had a pretty milk-chocolate face and a fireplug build I kept comparing it to Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Familya narrative I found stunning and extremely affecting, and finding it wanting. Nonetheless I found it an interesting book, compelling in its subject matter, with worthwhile conclusions about poverty, welfare, families, and social policy. I should add that there is nothing to suggest DeParle felt or acted condescending towards these women.

On the contrary, he became very involved in their lives, did huge favors for them like driving them three hours to visit an imprisoned father, hugged their children, was hugely sympathetic to their plights, etc. Jan 27, Jcigna rated it liked it. This book told the tale of Three Welfare Mothers right before welfare reform.

What I learned from this book is to not extrapolate from their tales what it means to be on welfare and a mother. They are not characters, they are three individuals who don’t represent anybody but themselves. DeParle does a fantastic job at describing and humanizing three women who were demonized by congress and pundits; the archetypes which led to welfare’s upheaval. But we must realize that they were not the normal This book told the tale of Three Welfare Mothers right before welfare reform.

But we must realize that they were not the normal women on welfare. Most don’t have drug problem, nor do they cheat the system. I wish that he had done a better job of letting the reader know this.

Instead they must decide how they view welfare recipients.