16. American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and Nation’s Drive to End Welfare by Jason DeParle
This book written by a reporter for the New York Times chronicles the decade (1994-2004) following Bill Clinton’s ending of welfare as it was previously known. It details all the political stuff leading up to the changes in the welfare laws and all the bureaucratic mess that followed including non-profit and for-profit companies who were supposed to be using state money to help welfare recipients instead stealing welfare money and using it for other purposes and not at all keeping up with their cases.
It also chronicles the impact of the welfare laws on 3 women living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was a wondeful book, and a heartbreaking look at the struggles the poor go through. Some of it through their own making, but some of it seemingly out of their control even when they’re trying to do their best to succeed. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10.