American Dream

Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare

Jason DeParle - Author

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ISBN 9780143034377 | 432 pages | 30 Aug 2005 | Penguin | 5.55 x 8.38in | 18 - AND UP
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An acclaimed New York Times reporter offers the definitive look at the collision between social policy and the gritty reality of post-welfare America

In this definitive work, two-time Pulitzer finalist Jason DeParle cuts between the mean streets of Milwaukee and the corridors of Washington to produce a masterpiece of literary journalism. At the heart of the story are three cousins whose different lives follow similar trajectories. Leaving welfare, Angie puts her heart in her work. Jewell bets on an imprisoned man. Opal guards a tragic secret that threatens her kids and her life. DeParle traces their family history back six generations to slavery and weaves poor people, politicians, reformers, and rogues into a spellbinding epic.

With a vivid sense of humanity, DeParle demonstrates that although we live in a country where anyone can make it, generation after generation some families donít. To read American Dream is to understand why.

Courageous and deeply disturbing... DeParle challenges the nation. (The New York Times Book Review/I>)

A book about welfare reform that is fun to read. (Detroit Free Press)

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