What is a welfare state? What is it for? Does the U.S. have one? Does it work at cross-purposes to a free-market economy or is it, in fact, essential to the functioning of modern, post-industrial societies? Join us as we speak with David Garland, author of The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2016) , a whirlwind tour of the welfare state, past and present. Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).