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The Other American : The Untold Life of Michael Harrington

Isserman, Maurice

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ISBN 10: 1891620304 / ISBN 13: 9781891620300
Verlag: PublicAffairs
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
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1891620304 Tips lightly bumped else near fine in near fine dust jacket. * Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers NT752KR005

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Titel: The Other American : The Untold Life of ...

Verlag: PublicAffairs

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Fine

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

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Inhaltsangabe:

The first serious biography of "the man who discovered poverty" offers new perspective on the recent history of the American Left.. Maurice Isserman's bracingly honest, surprisingly touching biography traces the life of one of the heroes of the American Left and one of our country's most influential social critics and poverty experts. Most Americans first heard of Michael Harrington with the publication of The Other America, his seminal book on American poverty. Isserman expertly tracks Harrington's beginnings in the Catholic Worker movement, his abandonment of his once deeply-held Catholicism, his life in 1950s Greenwich Village, and his evolution as a thinker. Along the way Isserman dispels numerous myths, including several Harrington himself encouraged. And Isserman explains why Harrington, who more than any other single individual seemed perfectly positioned to play the role of adult mentor to the New Left in the 1960s, instead fell into disfavor with young campus activists, and lost the opportunity of a lifetime to make his democratic Socialist perspective a relevant force in American politics. Maurice Isserman's bracingly honest, surprisingly touching biography traces the life of one of the heroes of the American Left and one of our country's most influential social critics and poverty experts. Most Americans first heard of Michael Harrington with the publication of The Other America, his seminal book on American poverty. Isserman expertly tracks Harrington's beginnings in the Catholic Worker movement, his abandonment of his once deeply-held Catholicism, his life in 1950s Greenwich Village, and his evolution as a thinker. Along the way Isserman dispels numerous myths, including several Harrington himself encouraged. And Isserman explains why Harrington, who more than any other single individual seemed perfectly positioned to play the role of adult mentor to the New Left in the 1960s, instead fell into disfavor with young campus activists, and lost the opportunity of a lifetime to make his democratic Socialist perspective a relevant force in American politics. *The first authoritative, critical biography of an important American thinker, by one of today's most important historians of the Left Harrington's ideas on poverty and social justice are just as provocative today as they were forty years ago * For anyone interested in American Studies, post-war American social thought, the history of radicalism, or issues of social justice.

From Publishers Weekly:

As Isserman notes, along with Silent Spring and The Feminine Mystique, Michael Harrington's The Other America stood out in the early 1960s as a beacon illuminating a vital, neglected part of America's political landscape. Ironically, although his vocation was as a movement-builder, his book alone sparked no movement; it did swiftly result in policy--President Johnson's War on Poverty--though without the focus or level of funding found in European welfare states that Harrington, a former Catholic Worker turned socialist, argued was necessary. Decades later, several European socialist leaders reputedly believed that had he been European, he would have been a prime minister. But since he wasn't, his life was lived in surroundings too small for his gifts. Sectarian politics swallowed much of his energy in the 1950s, leaving organizational commitments and battle scars that crippled his potential to play a leading role in shaping the political movements of the 1960s. Remarkably, Harrington bounced back to achieve great success in the 1970s, with the Democratic Agenda movement, which crafted significant progressive planks in the Democratic Party platform. Isserman (If I Had a Hammer), a noted historian of the American Left, does an excellent job of drawing the reader in with Harrington's family background and early life, but there's too little exploration of his writing and of the conservative forces arrayed against him in the '70s and '80s for readers to fully appreciate the sweep and sophistication of his intellectual vision or his capacity to adapt. Still, this is a valuable and intriguing look at a major figure of the American left of enduring influence. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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