States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935–1972

States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935–1972 1082 The Journal of American History March 2018 racism and classism remain critical features of a persisted at the local level (William J. Novak, given city’s development vision. This, however, The People’s Welfare, 1996, p. 1). These choic - is a minor quibble of what is an impressive his - es were consequential, as the welfare programs torical treatment of urban growth politics, race, designed by these bureaucrats helped develop and environmental inequality in America. today’s robust administrative state. The rights language deployed by welfare state administra - N. D. B. Connolly tors was not simply empty rhetoric; substan - Johns Hopkins University tive procedural practices, including the right Baltimore, Maryland to fair hearings, the promulgation of equal doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax538 protection principles, and state court litiga - tion, helped embody these rights. While the articulation of welfare rights via States of Dependency:  Welfare, Rights, and the courts and the welfare state bureaucracy American Governance, 1935–1972. By Karen proceeded, by the late 1960s local and state ac - Tani. (New York: Cambridge University tors began to regroup and fight back. By 1972, Press, 2016. xiv, 427 pp. Paper, $99.99.) backlash against the welfare rights movement and the defeat of Richard M. Nixon’s Family Karen Tani’s States of Dependency offers a complex understanding of how state d - evelAssistance Plan effectively ended progress on the notion of “welfare rights for all.” The dis - opment and bureaucratic capacity is created mantling of the American welfare state began at within a multijurisdictional polity. While social movements or individual members of this moment, culminating in the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work O-ppor Congress have played important roles in the tunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which “ - end expansion of the welfare state, Tani argues that national-level social welfare bureaucr ed w ats elfare as we know it.” The act, however, is the end of a story that Tani brilliantly eluci - and “poverty lawyers” were critical and o - ver dates—welfare ended in 1972, not with a bang looked sources of support for welfare state expansion. Expanding state capacities in a but with an exhausted whimper after a decades- long struggle between proponents of a national multijurisdictional state is a tricky process: national-level bureaucrats had to rely on a m modern w ix elfare state and the multitude of state and local political opponents who defiantly dis - of incentives and sanctions to push regional, missed the notion of welfare rights for all. state, and local actors toward a social welfare system based on tenets of modern governance: Kimberley Johnson uniformity and equal treatment. This move New York University toward rationalization jarred with the au - tono New York, New York mous and powerful local and state agencies in doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax539 charge of administering local poor relief in a crazy quilt of conflicting moralistic standards. Tani argues that national-level administra - Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for tors and professional social workers turned to Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality. By Mar- “rights language” to solve this massiv-e gov cia Walker-McWilliams. (Urbana: University ernance problem. The implementers of this of Illinois Press, 2016. xii, 266 pp. Cloth, new national welfare state had devised ways $95.00. Paper, $28.00.) to overpower or work around the local and state actors who were loath to give up their Marcia Walker-McWilliamR s’esv erend Addie ability to discipline the poor of their com - Wyatt is a deeply informative biography of a munities. Through meticulous and revelatory nationally renowned labor, civil rights, and archival work Tani shows that a “legalization religious leader based in post–World War II approach,” which relied on “statutory and con - black Chicago. Walker-McWilliams ha-s dis stitutional law,” allowed the national state to covered more about Rev. Addie Wyatt’s life prevail (in retrospect, temporarily) over - Wil than any other scholar, ranging from stories liam J. Novak’s “well-regulated” society, which about Wyatt’s background in Mississippi that Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jah/article-abstract/104/4/1082/4932716 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of American History Oxford University Press

States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935–1972

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Abstract

1082 The Journal of American History March 2018 racism and classism remain critical features of a persisted at the local level (William J. Novak, given city’s development vision. This, however, The People’s Welfare, 1996, p. 1). These choic - is a minor quibble of what is an impressive his - es were consequential, as the welfare programs torical treatment of urban growth politics, race, designed by these bureaucrats helped develop and environmental inequality in America. today’s robust administrative state. The rights language deployed by welfare state administra - N. D. B. Connolly tors was not simply empty rhetoric; substan - Johns Hopkins University tive procedural practices, including the right Baltimore, Maryland to fair hearings, the promulgation of equal doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax538 protection principles, and state court litiga - tion, helped embody these rights. While the articulation of welfare rights via States of Dependency:  Welfare, Rights, and the courts and the welfare state bureaucracy American Governance, 1935–1972. By Karen proceeded, by the late 1960s local and state ac - Tani. (New York: Cambridge University tors began to regroup and fight back. By 1972, Press, 2016. xiv, 427 pp. Paper, $99.99.) backlash against the welfare rights movement and the defeat of Richard M. Nixon’s Family Karen Tani’s States of Dependency offers a complex understanding of how state d - evelAssistance Plan effectively ended progress on the notion of “welfare rights for all.” The dis - opment and bureaucratic capacity is created mantling of the American welfare state began at within a multijurisdictional polity. While social movements or individual members of this moment, culminating in the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work O-ppor Congress have played important roles in the tunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which “ - end expansion of the welfare state, Tani argues that national-level social welfare bureaucr ed w ats elfare as we know it.” The act, however, is the end of a story that Tani brilliantly eluci - and “poverty lawyers” were critical and o - ver dates—welfare ended in 1972, not with a bang looked sources of support for welfare state expansion. Expanding state capacities in a but with an exhausted whimper after a decades- long struggle between proponents of a national multijurisdictional state is a tricky process: national-level bureaucrats had to rely on a m modern w ix elfare state and the multitude of state and local political opponents who defiantly dis - of incentives and sanctions to push regional, missed the notion of welfare rights for all. state, and local actors toward a social welfare system based on tenets of modern governance: Kimberley Johnson uniformity and equal treatment. This move New York University toward rationalization jarred with the au - tono New York, New York mous and powerful local and state agencies in doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax539 charge of administering local poor relief in a crazy quilt of conflicting moralistic standards. Tani argues that national-level administra - Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for tors and professional social workers turned to Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality. By Mar- “rights language” to solve this massiv-e gov cia Walker-McWilliams. (Urbana: University ernance problem. The implementers of this of Illinois Press, 2016. xii, 266 pp. Cloth, new national welfare state had devised ways $95.00. Paper, $28.00.) to overpower or work around the local and state actors who were loath to give up their Marcia Walker-McWilliamR s’esv erend Addie ability to discipline the poor of their com - Wyatt is a deeply informative biography of a munities. Through meticulous and revelatory nationally renowned labor, civil rights, and archival work Tani shows that a “legalization religious leader based in post–World War II approach,” which relied on “statutory and con - black Chicago. Walker-McWilliams ha-s dis stitutional law,” allowed the national state to covered more about Rev. Addie Wyatt’s life prevail (in retrospect, temporarily) over - Wil than any other scholar, ranging from stories liam J. Novak’s “well-regulated” society, which about Wyatt’s background in Mississippi that Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jah/article-abstract/104/4/1082/4932716 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018

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The Journal of American HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

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