AWARD WINNER: Cybelle Fox is honored with Best Book in Latino Politics for 2012

Cybelle Fox -- UC Berkeley Sociology DepartmentCybelle Fox – Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal

Winner, Best Book in Latino Politics for 2012, Latino Caucus, American Political Science Association

The award is given for an outstanding book that examines the political thought and practice of Latinos in the United States, exploring the ways in which race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and/or class affect Latinos in their quest for social and political empowerment.

“The Latino Caucus in Political Science or Sector Latino de Ciencia Política was established to both promote and protect the professional development and well-being of Latinas/as in political science and those interested in the study of Latino politics.”

Information about the award ceremony in August: 
“Two events will take place at the upcoming meeting of the American Political Science Association in Chicago that will involve the participation of our book award winners.  The Latino Caucus is sponsoring a panel entitled “Essential Reading in Latino Politics: A Roundtable with Award Winning Authors in the Field.”  It will take place Saturday, August 31, from 4:15-6:00pm.  We are delighted that Maria Chavez and Cybelle Fox will be able to join us on this panel. We will also formally honor Professors Chavez and Fox at the Latino Caucus reception at the APSA meeting.  We will inform Caucus members when the reception date and time are announced.”  (Note: Maria Chavez’s Everyday Injustice won the Best Book for 2011, which will be announced at the same event.)

View the APSA Latino Caucus (Political Science) website:

Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal by Cybelle FoxThree Worlds of Relief examines the role of race and immigration in the development of the American social welfare system by comparing how blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants were treated by welfare policies during the Progressive Era and the New Deal. Taking readers from the turn of the twentieth century to the dark days of the Depression, Cybelle Fox finds that, despite rampant nativism, European immigrants received generous access to social welfare programs. The communities in which they lived invested heavily in relief. Social workers protected them from snooping immigration agents, and ensured that noncitizenship and illegal status did not prevent them from receiving the assistance they needed. But that same helping hand was not extended to Mexicans and blacks. Fox reveals, for example, how blacks were relegated to racist and degrading public assistance programs, while Mexicans who asked for assistance were deported with the help of the very social workers they turned to for aid.

Drawing on a wealth of archival evidence, Fox paints a riveting portrait of how race, labor, and politics combined to create three starkly different worlds of relief. She debunks the myth that white America’s immigrant ancestors pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, unlike immigrants and minorities today. Three Worlds of Relief challenges us to reconsider not only the historical record but also the implications of our past on contemporary debates about race, immigration, and the American welfare state.

Cybelle Fox is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the coauthor of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings.


  1. I actually read this for a class I took in college. Its a very good read and I would suggest it to anyone.