The political transformation that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act fueled scholarly interest in welfare history. As politicians dismantled welfare, scholars discovered long histories of raced and gendered social control, intertwined public and private interests, and fixations on work and personal responsibility. They also recovered more promising possibilities of cash assistance. This article examines foundational welfare histories published between 1971 and 2018. I suggest that this somewhat isolated body of work has shed bright light on the history of neoliberalism from the perspective of people never fully included into social citizenship. It exposes how neoliberalism is and is not different from mid-century liberalism and recovers a long history of resistance. In an era when few talk about cash assistance, welfare historiography is vital for restoring fading memory of its redistributive potential.