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The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States
The Road Not Taken takes a new perspective on the course of social welfare policy in the twentieth century. This examination looks at the evolution of social work in the United States as a dynamic process not just driven by mainstream organizations and politics, but strongly influenced by the ideas and experiences of radical individuals and marginalized groups as well.
Paperback, 292 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Routledge
(first published 2001)
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I'd give this book 3.5 stars. I read it after completing a graduate course on the history of social welfare. It's an academic book, so it can be a bit dry at times and would benefit from providing greater historical and political context for certain periods of social work history. However, it goes into a great deal of detail on the influence of radical social work on New Deal policies and the impact of McCarthyism as an assault on these same policies that effectively served to route out radicali ...more
I read this book during the time I was getting my BSW. It was a way to cope with how bad the field was on social justice when the language was used so commonly in the field. The recent move to the professionalization of field, in the historical context given by the book, is telling of why social work is increasingly becoming a state agent of social control.
I think every social work student should be required to at least skim this text. I believe that social workers need to know not only the history of the profession, but also be exposed to different philosophies and methods of interacting with others and larger systems.