This refreshing book is an antidote to despair. For Americans skeptical about our national capacity to turn around inner-city devastation and reverse high rates of illegitimacy, school failure, and intergenerational poverty, Common Purpose offers inspiring tales and hard evidence of success on a scale that is large eugh to matter. Since the publication of her 1988 book, Within Our Reach, rewned social analyst Lisbeth B. Schorr has been asking why the pilot social programs that succeed in helping disadvantaged children and families toward better lives are so rarely sustained or expanded. In Common Purpose, she answers that question with a probing analysis showing how our education, welfare, and family support systems have failed to adapt to today's imperatives. She goes on to tell the inspiring stories of pioneers who have been able to sustain and expand small successes with bold departures in taming bureaucracies, in replicating what works, in creating environments that are hospitable to effective programs, and in giving teacher counselors, and others on the front lines the flexibility they need to do their jobs. The compelling evidence synthesized in Common Purpose provides the basis for an agenda around which the public, private and philanthropic sectors can mobilize and rebuild the inner city, reverse the growth of an American underclass, and restore trust in our major institutions.