Book News Tracing "who speaks for the children?" from US colonial times to the present, Ashby (Washington State U.) demonstrates though case studies and interdisciplinary analyses the complex agendas that inform the best-intentioned child welfare reform efforts. Like earlier reformers, their 20th century counterparts confront the highly politicized issues of the role of diverse private values and government regulations in the arenas of adoption, custody battles, discrimination, dysfunctional families (though the index does not contain the term), and welfare reform; they also propose old solutions in new circumstances: e.g. Newt Gingrich's extolling of orphanages. A chronology lists landmarks in this wrenching history. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.