6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Other Welfare: Supplemental Security Income and U.S. Social Policy

History Seminar
Historical Perspectives on International and National Affairs

“The Other Welfare:
Supplemental Security Income and U.S. Social Policy”

Edward Berkowitz

Supplemental Security Income, passed in 1972 during an innovative and expansive phase of the American welfare state, marked an effort to do welfare right. But economic and political circumstances, as well as the contingencies of the moment, all combined to turn the program into a source of controversy over such things as whether parents coached their children to act “crazy” in an effort to secure benefits or whether immigrants deserved benefits. As a result, instead of marking a new departure in social policy, the program replicated many of the features of the welfare system it was designed to replace.

Edward Berkowitz, who received his doctorate in history from Northwestern University, is a professor of history, public policy, and public administration at George Washington University. He is the co-author, along with former chief Social Security historian Larry DeWitt, of The Other Welfare: Supplemental Security Income and U.S. Social Policy (Cornell University Press, 2013). Other recent books include a history of the nineteen seventies (Something Happened, 2006) and a history of mass culture in modern America (Mass Appeal, 2010).

Report from the Field: To Be Announced

Monday, November 4, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

Reservations requested because of limited seating:
mbarber@historians.org or 202-450-3209

November 11, 2013: No Meeting – Veterans Day
November 18, 2013: Linda Colley (Princeton) on written constitutions & world history

Sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center, the seminar meets weekly during the academic year. See www.nationalhistorycenter.org for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as videos and podcasts.  The seminar is grateful for support given by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.