The primacy of public welfare across southern history emerges as a central theme. Green shows that, consistent with national practices, public monies have always accounted for the greatest share of relief spending--despite a steady growth in the number and size of private charities. Green also highlights the uniqueness of the South's welfare history. The Freedmen's Bureau, for example, which operated as a vast federal welfare agency for former slaves during Reconstruction, has no equivalent outside the region.
Among other topics, Green covers the South's ongoing urbanization and industrialization, the selective application of social services along racial and gender lines, debates over the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor, the professionalization of social work, and the lasting effects of New Deal money and regulations on the region.
Through Richmond's example, readers will be able more fully to understand a variety of key public and private welfare issues--in history and in the present, as policy and reality, and in terms of welfare's recipients and its providers....Continua