978-0-89608-529-9 / 0896085295

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About the book:

Welfare has long been a thorn in the side of American conservatives and liberals alike. A pitched battle has been fought over whether payments to unemployed women and their children constitute charity or a basic right. In the '80s and '90s, politicians, the media, and citizens, tapping into taxpayer anger, helped bolster draconian cutbacks by waving the banner of the welfare queen, a shadowy figure appearing sometimes as a lady who buys steak with food stamps, sometimes as a pregnant teen who lazes about while the rest of society pays for her mistakes. For Crying Out Loud breaks into the barrage of statistics and myths with humanizing portraits of people who live on the margins.

Shifting between personal testimony and academic inquiry, these essays vividly explore the links between all women and connect families who draw public funds with those who don't. By addressing self-defeating actions as well as cultural conditions that strip away options, the book helps defuse certain arguments aimed against welfare activists. Homelessness, single motherhood, battering, immigration, and building coalitions are among the issues discussed. --Francesca Coltrera

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