It found a small-but-emerging audience in an America that was developing a greater self-awareness after the struggles of World War II and the Korean War. President Dwight Eisenhower 's two terms from to had temporarily upended the New Deal Coalition , which had been begun by President Franklin Roosevelt and was revived, at least in spirit, by the election of John Kennedy as president in With the book's acceptance, many believe Harrington became the pre-eminent spokesman for democratic socialism in America.
By , Harrington considered a run for President himself, but he threw his support to Democratic candidates instead.
Buckley , Charles Murray , and ordinary people who struggle to make a living or are dependent on social services. The documentary included a brief history of socialism in America and raised questions on the merits and relevance of trade unions today; the problems of migrant workers , farmers , and big business ; and the American health care system. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cannon Stokely Carmichael Lee J. Ford William Z. Active organizations.
Defunct organizations. Related topics. The New York Times. The Other America is defined by hopeless and pessismism, and by not seeing it, we ensure that the cycle of poverty will be repeated in a new generation. Harrington is hopeful in his book that when Americans become aware of poverty, they will be full of moral outrage and work to eradicate it.
Well, that was , and I don't know how long we have to wait to judge that that theory has been tested and shown to be deficient. No doubt this book is a call to conscience, but one that is not new. How long will the poor have to wait for their suffering to be recognized, Harrington asks at the end of the book. Maybe someday we will know that answer. Jun 21, Jon rated it it was amazing.
I read this book in college more than 40 years ago. Harrington's exposure of poverty in Appalachia and other parts of the U.
S was a stark revelation in the early 's. This book significantly influenced the anti poverty programs later in the decade. Thinking about the Other America inspired me many times during a 37 year career with the U.
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Department of Labor. I plan to include this book and its I read this book in college more than 40 years ago. I plan to include this book and its influence on my career during an upcoming retirement luncheon. Jan 19, Aman rated it it was amazing Shelves: school , i-like-it. One would think that this book is would be outdated but its not. Even though it first published in it is very relevant to the present. Michael Harrington is best known for this book, published in He was an American democratic socialist, writer, political activist, professor of political science, radio commentator and founder of the Democratic Socialists of America.
The Other America has become a classic in the social change world, that attention be directed at the poor in the U. It was cutting edge for its time. Although Harrington uses some Michael Harrington is best known for this book, published in Although Harrington uses some statistics in the book, the vast majority is narrative and analysis. His notable beliefs about statistics are included in the Appendix, the final section of the book.
This is interesting to read even taken away from the balance of the book. Combining the numbers with the words, Harrington paints a dismal view of poverty and the poor. But the words are just as apt as they were when the book was published. It took a few decades to get this one. Read the last 33 pages of the book if you ever have the chance. It can be found in Google books, by Googling 'the two nations michael harrington.
Taken as a whole, poverty is a culture. Taken on the family level, it has the same quality. These are people who lack education and skill, who have bad health, poor housing, low levels of aspiration and high levels of mental distress. Each disability is more intense because it exists within a web of disabilities. And if one problem is solved, and the others are left constant, there is little gain. One might translate these facts into the moralistic language so dear to those who would condemn the poor for their faults.
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The other Americans are those who live at a level of life below moral choice, who are so submerged in their poverty that one cannot begin to talk about free choice. The point is not to make them wards of the state. Rather, society must help them before they can help themselves. This is meant to be a pejorative in most cases.
Harrington almost wears the label as a badge of honor, proof of his humanity and his awareness and sensitivity to the desolation of the problem of poverty and the lives of the poor. He did see the poor as victims. And he kept saying it until his death in from cancer at the young age of They are a different kind of people. They think and feel differently; they look upon a different America than the middle class looks upon. Begun officially in , the War on Poverty was an ambitious governmental effort to address the problem of persistent poverty in the United States.
Over the next decade, the federal government—in conjunction with state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots groups—created a new institutional base for antipoverty and civil rights action and, in the process, highlighted growing racial and ideological tensions in American politics and society.
Marked by moments of controversy and consensus, the War on Poverty defined a new era for American liberalism and added new layers to the American welfare state.
Legislatively, the first two years were the most active. The antipoverty effort, however, did not stop there. It encompassed a range of Great Society legislation far broader than the Economic Opportunity Act alone. Can you imagine that many things being accomplished by our U. Congress in ? Nixon followed Johnson into the White House and kept most of these programs running. Feb 21, Peacegal rated it really liked it. This obviously was not the lightest or easiest read, but I am glad I read it.
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It is true, the lowest-paying, least stable jobs in America have changed. Garment and consumer product factories discovered they could move overseas and produce the same stuff with even lower wages and less pleasant conditions. This job sector in America ha This obviously was not the lightest or easiest read, but I am glad I read it. This job sector in America has become retail and food services jobs. The workers remain just as desperate. The section on rural poverty may surprise many modern readers, who assume industrialization of the agriculture industry is a new thing.
In this book we read of small farmers whose livelihoods are crushed in the wake of "huge operators with factory-like farms. Jun 11, Jane De vries rated it liked it. Read it in college. So long ago, I can't comment. Nov 14, Ietrio rated it did not like it Shelves: junk. This book is an intellectually dishonest work of exploitation. Oct 26, Cameron Gordon rated it liked it. I read Harrington's book years ago and still remember it all this time later. Harrington is a man with heart, a 'democratic socialist' who was writing originally during the prosperity of the early s which, in many ways, was much more prosperous than today but at the same time when deep poverty was holding in rural parts of the US and some urban areas too, including parts of Appalachia that had no running water or regular electricity.
It's a short book, and an impassioned call for justice thr I read Harrington's book years ago and still remember it all this time later. It's a short book, and an impassioned call for justice through national policy. But it has dated considerably and in some ways is an elitist view that is characteristic of much of the top-down social activism of the time, including the later War on Poverty and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson.
The prescription is for help from government and redistribution to correct economic imbalances, which are good things, to be sure. Empowering of poor people, and organising them, is not in this worldview and for all its sympathy, this is a book with little empathy for poor folk. Still, it has inspired many and its historical importance recommends a look through.