Women, the State, and Welfare is the first collection of essays specifically about women and welfare in the United States.  As an introduction to the effects of welfare programs, it is intended for general readers as well as specialists in sociology, history, political science, social work, and women’s studies.  The book begins with a review essay by Linda Gordon that outlines current scholarship about women and welfare.  The chapters that follow explore discrimination against women inherent in many welfare programs; the ways in which welfare programs reinforce basic gender programs in society; the contribution of organized, activist women to the development of welfare programs; and differences of race and class in the welfare system.  By giving readers access to a number of perspectives about women and welfare, this book helps position gender at the center of welfare scholarship and policy making and places welfare issues at the forefront of feminist thinking and action.