Jennifer Randles

Proposing Prosperity?

Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America

Columbia University Press 2016

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in EducationNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network November 14, 2017 Stephen Pimpare

“Marriage is the foundation of a successful society,” proclaimed the Clinton-era welfare reform bill. Since then, national and state governments have spent nearly a...

“Marriage is the foundation of a successful society,” proclaimed the Clinton-era welfare reform bill. Since then, national and state governments have spent nearly a billion dollars on programs designed to encourage poor and low-income Americans to get married and to remain married. But do any of these initiatives achieve their stated goals? To find out, listen to our interview with Jennifer Randles, author of Proposing Prosperity?: Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America (Columbia University Press, 2016), who knows first-hand what happens in such programs, bringing important new insight into evaluating claims that there is a “success sequence” that will bring people out of poverty.


Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A People’s History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford University Press, 2017).

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