The following books are good basic readings about social welfare policy and history in the U.S. If your knowledge of American history is limited or if you haven’t learned much about American history in your undergraduate work, please find a good basic American history book to read (preferably in English). Basic knowledge about American history will make the courses in the MSSP program more understandable from the very beginning.
Axinn, J. & Stern, M. J. (2008). Social welfare: A history of the American response to need, 7th edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Desmond, Matthew (2016). Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown Publishers.
Du Bois, W. E. B. (1996) The Philadelphia Negro: a Social Study. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Gelles, R. (2011). The third lie: why government programs don’t work – and a blueprint for change. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Katz, M.B. (2001). The price of citizenship: Redefining the American welfare state. New York: Henry Holt.
Katz, M.B. (1996). In the shadow of the poorhouse: A social history of welfare in America, tenth anniversary edition. New York: Basic Books.
Trattner, W. I. (1999). From Poor Law to welfare state: A History of social welfare in America, 6th edition. New York: Free Press.
Suggested Readings for MSSP + DA Students
The following books are specially recommended for students enrolling in the MSSP program and Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate (MSSP+DA).
Boellstorff, Tom, and Maurer, Bill (2015). Data, Now Bigger and Better! Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.
Fantuzzo, John, and Culhane, Dennis (2015). Actionable Intelligence: Using Integrated Data Systems to Achieve a More Effective, Efficient, and Ethical Government. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
Foster, Ian; Ghani, Rayid; Jarmin, Ron S.; Kreuter, Frauke; Lane, Julia (2016). Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools. Boca Ratón: Chapman & Hall/CRC Press.
Harcourt, Bernard E. (2007). Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Isaacson, Walter. (2014). The Innovators: how a group of inventors, hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Loshin, David (2013). Big Data Analytics: From strategic planning to enterprise integration with tools, techniques, NoSQL, and Graph. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann.
O’Neil, Cathy (2016). Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. New York: Crown Publishers.
Schneier, Bruce (2015). Data and Goliath: The hidden battles to collect your data and control your world. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.
Weiner, Norbert (1948). Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Cambridge, Mass.: Technology Press.
More Suggested Readings
The books on this list are suggestions, particularly if there is a substantive area that you would like to read more about. Any of them will be helpful to you in the fall, but we do not expect you to read all of them!
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. NY: The New Press.
Ariely, D. (2009). Predictably irrational: The hidden forces that shape our decisions. New York: Harper Collins.
Campbell, Andrea Louise. (2014). Trapped in America’s Safety Net: one Family’s Struggle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Carp, R.A., Stidham, R., & Manning, K.L. (2010). Judicial process in America, 8th ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.
Conley, Dalton. (1999) Being Black, living in the red: Race, wealth, and social policy in
America. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
Dixon-Román, E. & Gordon, E. W. (Eds.) (2012). Thinking Comprehensively About Education: Spaces of Educative Possibility and Their Implications for Public Policy. New York NY: Routledge. (Visit the Routledge website for more information.)
Duncan, G. J., Huston, A. & Weisner, T. (2007). Higher Ground: New hope for the
working poor and their children. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.
Ehrenreich, B. (2001). Nickel and dimed. New York: Henry Holt.
Ferguson, N. (2008). The ascent of money: A financial history of the world (New York: Penguin.
Forman, Jr., James. (2017). Locking up our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Frances, Allen. (2013). Saving Normal: an Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life. New York: William Morrow.
George, V. & Page, R.M. (Eds). (2004). Global social problems. Cambridge UK & Malden MA: Polity Press. ISBN: 0-7456-2952-0. (paper)
Hayes, Chris. (2017). A Colony in a Nation. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Iversen, R. R. & Armstrong, A. L. (2006). Jobs aren’t enough: Toward a new economic mobility for low-income families. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Kennett, P. (Ed). (2004). A handbook of comparative social policy. Cheltenham, Glos, UK & Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-84542-765-8.
Kozol, J. (2006). Rachel and her children. New York: Three Rivers.
Kristof, N. & WuDunn, S. (2009). Half the Sky. New York: Knopf Books.
Mechanic, D. (2008). Mental health and social policy: Beyond managed care. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon.
Moyo, D. (2009). Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Portes, Alejandro, and G. Rumbaut, Rubén. (2014). Immigrant America: a Portrait. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. 4th Ed.
Pressman, J.L. & Wildavsky, A. (1984). Implementation, 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rosenthal, Elisabeth (2017). An American Sickness: how Healthcare Became Big Business and how You Can Take it Back. New York: Penguin Press.
Sachs, J. D. (2008). Commonwealth: Economics for a crowded planet. New York: Penguin Press.
Shipler, David (2004). The working poor. New York: Knopf Books.
Starr, Paul. (1982). The Social Transformation of American Medicine. New York: Basic Books.
Stone, D. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York: Norton.
Tilly, C. (1998). Durable inequality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Warren, E., & Tyagi, A. (2003). The Two Income Trap. New York: Basic Books.
Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W.M. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Wilkerson, Isabel. (2010). The Warmth of other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Random House.
Winter, H. (2005). Trade-Offs: An introduction to economic reasoning and social issues. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
World Bank (WB). (2007). Atlas of global development: A visual guide to the world’s greatest challenges. (Washington DC: World Bank). (paper) ISBN: 978-0-8213-6856-5.
World Bank (WB). (2009). World Development Report 2009: Reshaping economic geography. (Washington DC: World Bank). (Paper). NOTE: May be downloaded without cost from the World Bank website
Yunus, M. (with Karl Weber). (2008). Creating a world without poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism. New York: Public Affairs.
Yunus, M. (with K. Weber). (2010). Building social business: The new kind of capitalism that serves humanity’s most pressing needs. New York: Public Affairs.
Zuberi, T. (2003). Thicker than blood: Why racial statistics lie. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
The websites indicated below continually track social policy issues.
- Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov/
- Brookdale Foundation: http://www.brookdalefoundation.org/
- Brookings Institutions: http://ww.brookings.edu
- Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: http://ww.cbpp.org
- Center for Law and Social Policy: http://ww.clasp.org
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/
- Commonwealth Fund: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/
- Congressional Budget Office: http://www.cbo.gov/
- Equal Voices (online newspaper): http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/
- Federal Register: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
- GAO: http://www.gao.gov/
- Health and Human Services: http://www.hhs.gov/
- Heritage Foundation: www.heritage.org
- Kaiser Family Foundation: http://www.kff.org/
- National Academy of Social Insurance: http://www.nasi.org/
- Office of Inspector General: http://www.oig.hhs.gov/
- Rand Corporation: http://ww.rand.org
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: http://www.rwjf.org/
- Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/
- Thomas: http://thomas.loc.gov/