8 episodes

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype.

The Queen Slate Magazine

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.1, 414 Ratings

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
414 Ratings

414 Ratings

Sam popo ,

Repetitive but interesting

I was really excited after listening to the first episode, but from there on it got a bit unorganized and didn’t really get in the life of Linda Taylor. It just felt like he repeated the same things. Maybe the book is better

Ellimac B ,

Important story

This story is important for various reasons and I am glad someone took the time to investigate the truth and provide perspective into someone’s personal trauma and how it influenced a urban racialized myth

Old OKC Guy ,

Big Blank Spot Filled

I enjoyed the series on many fronts. Aside from being an intriguing story, it painted a vivid picture of the plight of a black America, which has changed little during the intervening years.

It also covers an important snippet from a period in US political history from a quite different vantage point and reminds me again, of the powerful current of racism bubbling just below the surface in our country which politicians tap into again and again, to capture the attention, and snare the support of many undereducated, unenlightened, and often, blatantly bigoted voters.

Hearing President Regan’s “Welfare Queen” quote reminds me again, of the extraordinary power of ultra exaggeration when skillfully deployed in an anecdotal context. Regan was a master, as have been many others occupying our Oval Office and other positions of political power.

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