The New Deal and Beyond
Social Welfare in the South since 1930

Edited by Elna C. Green

Lessons for the entire country from the region historically most resistant to—yet most needful of—welfare programs


"A fine collection of essays examining the intersection of federal policies with the vast transformations that swept the South from the New Deal to the Great Society. The contributors describe, at times in compelling ways, the confrontation of southern poor people with the agents of modernity."
—Nan Elizabeth Woodruff, author of American Congo

"Scholars of social policy have examined national government policy in depth, but we also need to remember that a policy can be no better than its actual implementation at the local level. The New Deal and Beyond provides exactly that kind of unromantic, realistic appraisal of how social welfare programs made a difference—or did not make a difference."
—Linda Gordon, author of Heroes of Their Own Lives

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This collection of ten original studies covers a wide range of issues related to the regional distinctiveness of welfare provision in the South and the development of the larger federal welfare state. The studies examine New Deal and Great Society programs from the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps to Social Security and Medicare. In addition, they draw attention to such private-sector organizations as the Salvation Army and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Some essays look at the degree of federal responsiveness to, or actual engagement with, recipients of assistance. One such study examines the dynamics between the New Deal bureaucracy, poor women who worked in WPA-organized sewing rooms in Atlanta, and local political activists concerned about the women's working conditions. The power of race and racism to shape the delivery of social services in the region, as well as the strong connections between social welfare and civil rights, is a concern common to many studies. One study shows how linking the availability of federal Medicare funds to racial equality helped end segregation in southern hospitals. Others focus on topics ranging from the pioneering North Carolina Fund, a state program that shaped Great Society initiatives, to the public health nurses and home economists of the Farm Security Administration, to Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge's maneuverings against the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.

The New Deal and Beyond is filled with many new insights into initiating and maintaining social programs in the South, a region whose welfare history is key to understanding the larger story of the American welfare state.

Page count: 296 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $29.95

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Elna C. Green is Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts at San Jose State University. She is the author of This Business of Relief and the editor of Before the New Deal and The New Deal and Beyond (all Georgia).