[Excerpt] Lindert’s discussion of the costs and benefits of the welfare state is only one part, albeit the most eye-catching part, of this wide-ranging work in comparative economic history. Volume 1, written for non-specialists, presents “The Story”; it is tailor-made for upper-level undergraduate courses in economic and social history, public policy, and welfare economics. Volume 2 presents “Further Evidence,” including the regression results that underlie the findings presented in the first volume, and eighty pages of appendices. Graduate students and scholars studying the welfare state will want to read this volume in conjunction with Volume 1. For those who want to probe even deeper, most of the underlying data are available on Lindert’s home website at the University of California, Davis.