"Collectively, the accomplishments of Before the New Deal are considerable. There is a wide variety of talented historians represented, diverse viewpoints, and original research and interpretations. There is no single volume in existence that covers the full range of nooks and crannies involved in policy and welfare history in the South. This book fills that void. It represents a significant contribution to the literature on not simply the field of southern welfare history, but on the post-Civil War South, the history of reform, and the role of race and gender in the New South."
—William A. Link, author of Paradox of Southern Progressivism, 1880-1930
"This stimulating collection of ten essays by younger scholars deepens our understanding of the complex interplay of race, gender, and class in the southern past, and it makes a persuasive case for paying attention to regional variations in American social welfare history."
"A welcome addition to a literature that for too long has ignored the South, to the detriment of our understanding of American social welfare history."
—Journal of American History
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