Samuel Mencher was professor of social welfare at the University of Pittsburgh.
Samuel Mencher spent a year in Great Britain (1965-1966) interviewing leaders of professional medical associations, executives of the health insurance societies, and general practitioners and specialists engaged in private practice. His study of the private medical service twenty years after the passage of the National Health Service Act reviews the changes, problems, and successes of the National Health Service: trends in the amount and types of private medicine, the issues of conflict between private medicine and public policy, and attitudes of the public and of medical professionals.
The welfare state is a pervasive and controversial aspect of contemporary society. Samuel Mencher provides a historical and philosophical background on the growth of welfare policy through its sources, concepts, and specific programs. He covers a period from the English Poor Law of the sixteenth century through contemporary times-viewing changing attitudes toward poverty, new concepts on the nature of man and the influence of scientific thought-and also discusses mercantilism, laissez-faire, utilitarianism, liberalism, socialism, romanticism, social Darwinism, and modern capitalism as major influences on the growth of economic security policy.