'American Dream': A Welfare Reform Odyssey Correspondent Cheryl Devall talks with New York Times reporter Jason DeParle about the struggles of women who have gotten off welfare — a seven-year odyssey he chronicles in his new book American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare.
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'American Dream': A Welfare Reform Odyssey

Only Available in Archive Formats.
'American Dream': A Welfare Reform Odyssey

'American Dream': A Welfare Reform Odyssey

'American Dream': A Welfare Reform Odyssey

Only Available in Archive Formats.

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Viking Adult

Web Extra: Hear DeParle Read an Excerpt from 'American Dream'

Only Available in Archive Formats.

Correspondent Cheryl Devall talks with New York Times reporter Jason DeParle about the struggles of women who have gotten off welfare — a seven-year odyssey he chronicles in his new book American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare.

Nearly a decade has passed since President Clinton and Congress vowed to end "welfare as we know it." A Republican-controlled Congress passed — and Democrat Clinton signed into law — sweeping changes to the national welfare system that imposed a five-year limit on benefits, required able-bodied recipients to go to work after two years of getting benefits, and gave states incentives to create jobs for welfare recipients.

Jobs were supposed to be the way to a better life for women on welfare — and for some, the welfare reform package led to a better life. But for many others, long hours at low-wage jobs caused even more pain. DeParle chronicles the struggles of three African-American women and their families with and without welfare benefits, and takes a hard look at how Washington policies often don't fit personal circumstances and economic reality.

Books Featured In This Story

American Dream

Three Women, Ten Kids, And A Nation's Drive To End Welfare

by Jason Deparle

Hardcover, 422 pages |

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Title
American Dream
Subtitle
Three Women, Ten Kids, And A Nation's Drive To End Welfare
Author
Jason Deparle

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