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Medicine And Books

The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 23 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:818
  1. Rudolf Klein, professor of social policy
  1. centre for the analysis of social policy, University of Bath

    Nicholas Timmins Harper Collins £25, pp 606 ISBN 0002553880

    It is fashionable to be pessimistic about the welfare state. From the left comes the argument that the policies of successive Conservative governments have, over the past 15 years, betrayed the postwar vision that gave birth to the welfare state. From the right comes the argument that the welfare state aggravates many of the problems that it is supposed to solve. And indeed Beveridge's five giants--Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness--seem to have shown a remarkable capacity for survival. Fifty years …

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