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

Front Cover
Penguin, Aug 30, 2005 - Political Science - 432 pages
4 Reviews
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 don’t. To read American Dream is to understand why.


What people are saying - Write a review

Eyeopenning and deep

User Review  - ld50 -

Book itself is printed in 14pt font and it is a softcover. It is not hard to read and English Requirement courses in colleges require this book. It tells the story of three separate families and their ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - janey47 - LibraryThing

I very much appreciate the perspective that DeParle brings to this project. He is able to write about the overarching political environment that brought about the pledge to "end welfare as we know it ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Jason DeParle, a reporter for The New York Times, has also written for The New Republic, the Washington Monthly, and The New Orleans Times-Picayune. A former Henry Luce Scholar, DeParle was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 and 1998 for his reporting on the welfare system.

Bibliographic information