Skip to main content
The Failed Century of the Child
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 10
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Cowan, Philip A. and Pape Cowan, Carolyn 2015. Developmental Psychopathology.

    Moody, Zoe 2015. The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959): Genesis, transformation and dissemination of a treaty (re)constituting a transnational cause. PROSPECTS, Vol. 45, Issue. 1, p. 15.

    Raghavan, Ramesh and Alexandrova, Anna 2015. Toward a Theory of Child Well-Being. Social Indicators Research, Vol. 121, Issue. 3, p. 887.

    Jackson, Paul S. B. 2014. The Crisis of the “Disadvantaged Child”: Poverty Research, IQ, and Muppet Diplomacy in the 1960s. Antipode, Vol. 46, Issue. 1, p. 190.

    Fagan, Jeffrey 2009. Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science.

    Beatty, Barbara 2008. The Educational Work of Women’s Organizations, 1890–1960.

    Hiner, N. Ray 2008. Rethinking the History of American Education.

    Shanahan, Suzanne 2007. Lost and Found: The Sociological Ambivalence Toward Childhood. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 33, Issue. 1, p. 407.

    Lindenmeyer, Kriste 2006. An Historical Perspective on Child Labor in the United States. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Vol. 18, Issue. 2, p. 133.

    Ribuffo, Leo P. 2006. Family Policy Past As Prologue: Jimmy Carter, the White House Conference on Families, and the Mobilization of the New Christian Right1. Review of Policy Research, Vol. 23, Issue. 2, p. 311.

  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Recommend this book

    Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

    The Failed Century of the Child
    • Online ISBN: 9780511511608
    • Book DOI:
    Please enter your name
    Please enter a valid email address
    Who would you like to send this to? *
  • Buy the print book

Book description

Between 1900 and 2000 an unprecedented American effort to use state regulation to guarantee health, opportunity, and security to the country's children failed to reach its goals. The achievements envisioned were enormously ambitious and reflected entrenched but self-contradictory values and Americans' inconsistent expectations of government. As such, a 'failed' century deserves a mixture of rebuke and cautious admiration. Starting with the young, American public policy transformed individuals into strings of measurable characteristics. People became statistics, and if society could just get the measurements right, social policy said, progress would be possible. But children proved hard to quantify. Policies based on optimistic faith in the powers of applied scientific truth revealed perils implicit in acceptance of poorly understood social science paradigms. Definitions changed, as psychology or sociological or statistical theory changed, and good intentions foundered, as experts fiercely challenged each other's conclusions and public policies sought to respond.


' … simultaneously accessible and scholarly. The text is highly engaging … a wealth of information … an extremely useful compendium. This book is a natural for classroom use … The book is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate courses in history, child welfare, social policy, social work, and political science. It is also likely to be of interest to practitioners, policy makers, and academics in those same fields.'

Source: Youth and Policy

'… this exceptional book offers a remedy to what Sealander deplores as one of the recurring features of child policy: the absence of awareness of past experiences.'

Source: Labour/Le Travail

'This is a thoroughly researched and well-written book, both scholarly and entertaining.'

Source: History of Political Thought

'Sealander's The Failed Century of the Child is simultaneously accessible and scholarly. The text is highly engaging, free from the dryness of many academic tomes. … Sealander provides us with an extremely useful compendium. The book is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate courses in history, child welfare, social policy, social work, and political science. It is also likely to be of interest to practitioners, policy makers and academics in those same fields.'

Source: Youth and Policy

    • Aa
    • Aa
Refine List
Actions for selected content:
Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive
  • Send content to

    To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to .

    To send content to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

    Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

    Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

    Please be advised that item(s) you selected are not available.
    You are about to send:

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 37 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 76 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.