The Queen

The Queen

The Forgotten Life Behind An American Myth

Book - 2019
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"On the South Side of Chicago in 1974, Linda Taylor reported a phony burglary, concocting a lie about stolen furs and jewelry. The detective who checked it out soon discovered she was a welfare cheat who drove a Cadillac to collect ill-gotten government checks. And that was just the beginning: Taylor, it turned out, was also a kidnapper, and possibly a murderer. A desperately ill teacher, a combat-traumatized Marine, an elderly woman hungry for companionship--after Taylor came into their lives, all three ended up dead under suspicious circumstances. But nobody--not the journalists who touted her story, not the police, and not presidential candidate Ronald Reagan--seemed to care about anything but her welfare thievery. Growing up in the Jim Crow South, Taylor was made an outcast because of the color of her skin. As she rose to infamy, the press and politicians manipulated her image to demonize poor black women. Part social history, part true-crime investigation, Josh Levin's mesmerizing book, the product of six years of reporting and research, is a fascinating account of American racism, and an expose of the 'welfare queen' myth, one that fueled political debates that reverberate to this day. [This book] tells, for the first time, the fascinating story of what was done to Linda Taylor, what she did to others, and what was done in her name."--
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316513302
Branch Call Number: 364.163092 T2381L
Characteristics: xi, 418 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


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Oct 14, 2019

The cheating made me angry. It has caused suspicion to become the standard, for those in need. Beyond that "Queen" notion, the story went on and on and on. It took way too many detours, about the not very interesting cheater's history. I gave up, half way through.

Sep 11, 2019

A thriller, mystery, and study of mental illness, as much as a story of welfare abuse. Incredibly well-written and researched, especially considering the difficulty of sorting out the material.


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