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Reinhold Dorwart offers an absorbing study of early Prussian experience in developing a welfare state. He defines the welfare state as one based upon the police power to regulate the actions of the individual and proposes that the term, usually reserved for the social-service state of the twentieth century, is applicable to the Western state of the last 500 years. Distinguishing between the welfare of the individual and the general welfare, he concentrates his study on the early stages of the Prussian welfare state as it developed in Brandenburg-Prussia through the legislative and regulative acts of the Hohenzollern princes. Enhanced by contemporary illustrations, the book provides a much needed corrective to the one-sided emphasis which scholars have placed on the militaristic aspects of Prussian state policy.