American Policy Making will surely create controversy by challenging the prevailing ethos of humanitarianism. Epstein points to the perils of unrestricted subjectivity—the corruption of both social science and social discourse—and argues for a more disciplined approach to policy making. Rather than scientific theory and applied scientific practice, the social sciences have been appropriated to create ideology—corrective myths in support of social denial. The social sciences script fables of cure, prevention, and rehabilitation that falsely testify to the feasibility of inexpensive and culturally compatible solutions to deep social problems. Rather than providing effective service, social welfare programs are rituals of social values, expressing, proselytizing, reaffirming, and strengthening factional preferences. This is a uniquely unsentimental analysis of American social policy-making with great scope and depth, particularly in the personal social services, philosophic and historical dimensions. It is also a bold call to action to create more effective policies for social welfare.