By Pierre Epstein
Social protection has lengthy been referred to as the 3rd rail of yank politics—an unassailable establishment for which we will be able to thank Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Or can we? Abraham Epstein used to be an enormous determine in American social reform through the first half the 20th century. His identify and his theories look in nearly each publication written on Social defense and the hot Deal, yet an entire account of his lifestyles hasn't ever been made. Epstein’s son, Pierre, now secures his legacy during this publication that tells for the 1st time the tale of his father’s function within the notion and enactment of Social protection and sheds new mild at the internal workings of the Roosevelt administration. Combining memoir and highbrow historical past, Pierre Epstein takes readers behind the curtain of recent Deal laws to inform how his father’s fast-moving profession led him to develop into the true architect of Social Security—he even got here up with these phrases to give an explanation for his theories. A prolific journalist, founding father of the yank organization for Social defense, and writer of various books, together with lack of confidence: A problem to the United States, Abe Epstein fought desperately with FDR to therapy the flaws of the unique Social protection Act—only to be solid apart via political machinations. still, the exclusion didn't cease him from making major contributions to the 1939 amendments that solidified Social protection for coming generations of Americans. during this publication readers will meet a colourful and tenacious participant within the background of this serious piece of social assurance legislation—an obsessed reformer who mobilized help from the ground up for his imaginative and prescient of Social Security. They also will meet his relatives and study of the struggles and frustrations Abe Epstein confronted in making his manner in the USA as an immigrant Russian Jew. This attractive ebook fills an enormous hole within the ancient list, displaying that Social safety is greater than a technical topic approximately finance and actuarial facts, that it really is basically a human suggestion with deep philosophical roots. In the face of today’s privatization controversy, Abraham Epstein’s theories have a lot to inform us concerning the present debate whereas Pierre Epstein’s insightful narrative exhibits us the underlying value of 1 man’s indelible legacy.
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Additional info for Abraham Epstein: The Forgotten Father of Social Security
It must be a mistake. ” After a pause he continued. “But what’s this speech you made criticizing President Wilson during the war? ” Maurer, who had a good command of the workingman’s vernacular from his days as a machinist, restrained himself because Palmer promised to eventually get him a new passport. It was a cagey performance by the nation’s first “Red Hunter,” a role model for those who aspire to that august title. Abe’s experience was even more bizarre. He was in no position to confront Palmer, so he tried to tell some other officials why he needed to go by showing them a contract he had to write a book on old-age pensions signed by none other than Alfred Knopf himself.
It was the plight of the son—perhaps the classic plight of the modern Jewish son—who was infatuated with books that his unlearned and stubborn father did not want in his house. Young Abraham acquired several hundred books, which he bought with the small sums he earned by teaching children in the nearby villages. His little library featured Marx and Engels among other banned writers, and he loaned his books out to other boys in the community, an audacious act when the tsar’s secret police were everywhere.
When one man got up, another man took over the bed. They were men who had been forced to leave their families while The Socialist Johnny Appleseed 35 they struggled to find work as simple laborers. There was discrimination on the part of the unions that kept the new migrants, most of whom had been brought up north by labor agents, out of work. There were no parks. There were no welfare agencies. The only recreation was the street corner saloon. He used photographs to vividly illustrate the depravity of Negro living conditions: back-alley outhouses shared by a dozen families, abandoned boxcars used as homes, men standing around outside saloons.