• Howard Goldstein Professor Emeritus, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Cleveland Ohio


Howard Goldstein's narrative essay describes the affirmation of hope and optimism that characterized social work thought in its mid-century; and his sense of the profession as it shifted perspectives from diagnostic and functional systems of practice and education to "consensus" and "the need to speak in one voice" Goldstein's narrative is more than autobiographical. It recaptures a time, at least in narrative, when social work was nominally a profession but more vitally, a way of life, a perspective on the world, perhaps an ideology, certainly a source of hope and vision. The clarity of the portrait of those middle years is filtered by the narrower, more utilitarian outlook of the present, the failures that followed noble social experiments, and the flood of current social miseries. Whether things were better or worse in that era is not the point; then, we were inspired by beliefs that we could make a difference, that the world would be somewhat better if we learned right and did right. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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How to Cite

Goldstein, H. (2014). HOW IT WAS: A NARRATIVE ESSAY. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 2(4), 62–71. Retrieved from



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