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The Missing Middle

Working Families and the Future of American Social Policy


Theda Skocpol (Author)

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An eye-opening look at how America’s social policy has been hijacked by a rhetoric of extremes.

In the opening pages of this powerful examination of American politics, Theda Skocpol reveals a curious pattern: Our politicians argue over programs for the very poor or tax cuts for the very rich, and they worry over the precarious security of our longer-living grandparents and the educational neglect and corresponding bleak future of our children. But, with the spotlight on the youngest, the oldest, the richest, and the poorest, rarely do we find policies concerned with average working men and women of modest means, those the author terms the "missing middle." Skocpol draws us into the history of this disturbing trend and reveals the repercussions of the increasingly simplistic and moralistic stands being taken by our politicians. Taking lessons from the root causes of this shift, she presents a compelling case for family-oriented populism and identifies the bold reforms needed to revitalize American democracy.

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