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"Review essay: reform and social change".

Albert J. Schmidt, "Review Essay: Reform and Social Change"

The books reviewed variously convey notions of reform and momentous social change in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Law and lawyers, gender/family, and demographic change are recurring topics in several works. Three--Finn's, Bailey's, and Ottaway's--complement each other in their treatment of family, consumption, welfare, household, and money matters. Ottoway's analysis fills an important gap in both poor law literature and the social history of aging in the eighteenth century. Bailey's contribution in marriage history is her focus on the 'middling sort' rather than the well-documented aristocracy. Bums' and Innes' "fresh look" at the 'age of reform' includes art, theater, opera, medicine, and empire as well as parliamentary reform. Clearly, the most varied content is to be found in Floud's and Johnson's The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain, an update of an earlier work while the most original piece is Peter Lindert's. Described by Jeffrey Sachs as "dazzling" (which it is), Growing Public is essentially about the welfare state and its various metamorphoses.
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Title Annotation:portrayals of soical history
Publication:Journal of Social History
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Previous Article:"Manhood and the neutered body in early modern Spain".
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Review essay: reform and social change.

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