Jury report: "In this elegantly written and thoroughly researched thesis, Heleen Blommers details the formation of a ‘narrative of failure’ that came to surround the Johnson administration’s antipoverty programs, with a particular emphasis on the case of Baltimore. It is an impressive work, based on the author’s own (and extensive) archival research in Washington, Baltimore, and the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, which gives a careful analysis of the construction and implementation of federal anti-poverty programs, as well as the reactions they provoked on the ground. Especially poignant are the author’s foregrounding of the legacy of the New Deal in the War on Poverty, as well as her close attention to the the racial dimensions of its supposed ‘failure’. The result is an outstanding historical analysis, which reveals much about the tragedy of the lost crusade against poverty in the 1960s whose consequences still haunt us today. The Jury unanimously agreed to award this thesis an honorable mention."