The Wagner Collection

EIGHT BOOKS TO BE REPUBLISHED BY GOTHAM BOOKS:

PROGRESSIVES IN AMERICA 1900-2020-THE POORHOUSE: AMERICA’S FORGOTTEN INSTITUTION-UNLIKELY FAME:POOR PEOPLE WHO MADE HISTORY-CHECKERBOARD SQUARE: CULTURE AND RESISTANCE IN A HOMELESS COMMUNITY-NO LONGER HOMELESS-THE NEW TEMPERANCE: THE AMERICAN OBSESSION WITH SIN AND VICE-CONFRONTING HOMELESSNESS-WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?: A CRITICAL LOOK AT AMERICAN CHARITY includes winner of C.Wright Mills award (Checkerboard Square), winner of Northeast Popular Culture Award (The New Temperance) and Outstanding Book from Choice, the library journal (Confronting Homelessness).

$3.99 E-BOOK, $12.95-14.95 PAPER AVAILABLE AT MAJOR BOOK SELLERS


This is the FIRST BOOK about Progressives throughout American history including the original Progressives of 1900-1917, the progressives of the Popular Front of the 1930s and 1940s, and the efforts of the last decades from Jesse Jackson to Bernie Sanders. Wagner argues that these movements for reforms have ended up in a dead-end in the two major parties.

Kirkus Reviews
: “A seasoned academic provides an overview of American progressives from 1900 to today…he is laudably careful not to define elite progressive politicians as “radical”; there has been some truly radical movements in American history, but progressivism isn’t one of them. A well-researched introduction to progressive politics in the United States”

OnlineBookClub.org
“I liked this book because the author did an excellent job of explaining the importance of progressives in the American society. The language used was straightforward, and in this manner, it was easy to understand…The author wrote this book with a high degree of originality in the content. This…book is eloquently written…”

“David Wagner’s extraordinary journey through ‘the poorhouse’ in the United States is meticulously researched and brings alive, in eminently readable prose, the lives of those human beings who were both victims and overseers of this much-neglected part of American life. This is an important contribution to our social history.”

Howard Zinn, historian, social activist, author of A People’s History of the United States

“An eye-opener! Wagner carefully and judiciously combs through the data to give us a vivid picture of nineteenth-century institutions…There is nothing quite like this [book] and American social welfare history will never be the same.”

Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York

“Wagner’s informative book is required reading.”

New England Quarterly

“This impressively researched history of the poorhouse, a mainstay social welfare resource for 300 years in America, will fascinate and enlighten even a casual reader.”

Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work

“This book raises sobering questions for all of us who want to live in a just society. It is clear, lively…wonderfully readable.”

Frank Browning, Salon.com.

“demolishes the conventional wisdom that private philanthropy is innately superior to public welfare measures…this book will do more to end poverty than any number of contributions to elite charities.”

Barbara Ehrenreich

“a well-reasoned analysis”

Booklist

“With charities influence growing, the time is right to raise red flags- and Wagner’s are largely on target”

The Baltimore Sun

Howard Zinn

“A concise and vivid chronicle of the rise of paternalistic charity.”

Award Winners

Winner of C. Wright Mills award 1994

“Checkerboard Square is a well-written, often dramatic book which combines first-rate sociological analysis with sensitive story telling. Not only does it deserve to be read by researchers, undergraduates, and the general reader but it should be required reading for all those working to rebuild the welfare state and to create a new America.”

Herbert Gans

“A moving and important testament to the human spirit. A must read for organizers and advocates everywhere.”

Robert Hayes, founder, National Coalition for the Homeless

“One of the more original and refreshing books on the homeless, It challenges stereotypic conceptions of the homeless and misguided policy approaches to dealing with the problem.”

David Snow, University of Arizona

Winner of the Northeast Popular Culture Award, 1998

“This is an important and insightful book…thoughtful, documented with erudition, and provides the reader with a valuable entry into American cultural conflict.”

Contemporary Sociology

“In the New Temperance, David Wagner gives us a sweeping attempt to put the 1960s and everything after, in perspective…although this is a sizable task for a single book, Wagner is successful in most respects…”

Deviant Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Journal

“An absolutely unique contribution to our understanding of the resurgence of temperance in American political and cultural life. This is a must-read!”

Stanley Aronowitz

“It’s a self-help book…but it’s aimed at helping Americans get over the idea that homelessness is mainly the result of personal failings..[the author’s} purpose in writing the book was to use personal stories of formerly homeless people to both show that most people on the streets eventually go on to have functional lives and what makes the difference is financial and other supports to stop being homeless and stay housed.”

Real Change

“For some years now, David Wagner has styled himself as something of a Studs Terkel among the homeless poor, collecting stories, reminiscences, and hopes. He has also taught, befriended, and organized with them. In this latest dispatch, he explores how the ‘ex-homeless’ account for exits from the street and shelter. A worthy read.”

Kim Hopper, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia Uniuversity

“Homelessness does not define a person- it is a tragic condition that too many Americans have suffered far too long. David Wagner expertly captures the essential humanity of men and women who have been homeless. It is a story of hope and promise.”

Robert Hayes, founder, Coalition of the Homeless

OUTSTANDING BOOK: CHOICE 2013

JOURNAL

“Not only does a thorough job of outlining the history of homelessness in the United States, but also brings attention to the minimal progress the United States has made in addressing this issue.”

Contemporary Sociology

“An excellent book: one of the best on the topic. Highly recommended.”

Choice

Confronting Homelessness is a very important contribution to discussion of social movements, poverty and homelessness.”

Z magazine

“Has it gotten harder for Americans from poor backgrounds to become famous?…David Wagner suggests fewer famous people come from poverty today than did in the past.”

Huffington Post

“David Wagner is a foremost scholar on issues of poverty, homelessness, and social welfare policy.”

Z magazine

“Informed and informative, Unlikely Fame is a fascinating and informative read from beginning to end. It is a unique and seminal work that is truly extraordinary and highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as school, community and academic library…collections.”

Midwest Review

OTHER BOOKS BY DAVID WAGNER

Poverty and Welfare in America: Examining the Facts, ABC-CLIO 2019.

The Miracle Worker and the Transcendentalist: Anne Sullivan, Franklin Sanborn, and the Education of Helen Keller, Routledge, 2012.

Ordinary People: In and Out of Poverty in the Gilded Age. Routledge, 2008.

The Quest for a Radical Profession: Social Service Careers and Political Ideology. Rowman-Littlefield, 1990.