What We Are Reading Today: The Winding Road to the Welfare State

Updated 03 January 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Winding Road to the Welfare State

Author: George R. Boyer

How did Britain transform itself from a nation of workhouses to one that became a model for the modern welfare state?
The Winding Road to the Welfare State investigates the evolution of living standards and welfare policies in Britain from the 1830s to 1950 and provides insights into how British working-class households coped with economic insecurity, according to a review on the Princeton University Press website.
George Boyer examines the retrenchment in Victorian poor relief, the Liberal Welfare Reforms, and the beginnings of the postwar welfare state, and he describes how workers altered spending and saving methods based on changing government policies.
From the cutting back of the Poor Law after 1834 to Parliament’s abrupt about-face in 1906 with the adoption of the Liberal Welfare Reforms, Boyer offers new explanations for oscillations in Britain’s social policies and how these shaped worker well-being.


What We Are Reading Today: Lateness

Updated 09 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Lateness

Edited by Peter Eisenman and Elisa Iturbe

Conceptions of modernity in architecture are often expressed in the idea of the zeitgeist, or “spirit of the age,” an attitude toward architectural form that is embedded in a belief in progressive time. Lateness explores how architecture can work against these linear currents in startling and compelling ways. In this incisive book, internationally renowned architect Peter Eisenman, with Elisa Iturbe, proposes a different perspective on form and time in architecture, one that circumvents the temporal constraints on style that require it to be “of the times”—lateness. 

He focuses on three twentieth-century architects who exhibited the qualities of lateness in their designs:
Adolf Loos, Aldo Rossi, and John Hejduk. Drawing on the critical theory of Theodor Adorno and his study of Beethoven’s final works, Eisenman shows how the architecture of these canonical figures was temporally out of sync with conventions and expectations, and how lateness can serve as a form of release from the restraints of the moment.

Bringing together architecture, music, and philosophy, and drawing on illuminating examples from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, Lateness demonstrates how today’s architecture can use the concept of lateness to break free of stylistic limitations, expand architecture’s critical capacity, and provide a new mode of analysis.