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The Dream & the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass [Paperback]

Mryon Magnet
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The legacy of the subtitle, according to Magnet, a Fortune magazine editorial board member and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research analyst, is "a liberal, left-of-central worldview" that, despite the intentions of the 1960s counterculture advocates, divides our society more fully than ever into Haves and Have-Nots. The sexual revolution and the focus on free "expressiveness" had the effect of holding "the poor back from advancement by robbing them of responsibility for their fate and thus further squelching their initiative and energy." The counterculture, as subscribed to by mainstream media, the federal courts and such figures as Ted Kennedy, befuddled the work ethic with idealistic notions of civil rights and fair wages. Finding a poverty of spirit in recent art, such as the fiction of Anne Beattie and Bret Easton Ellis, Magnet urges that we " stop the current welfare system, stop quota-based affirmative action . . . stop letting bums expropriate public spaces . . . stop Afrocentric education in the schools." Magnet offers many examples of societal ills but fails to make a convincing case that the legacy of the counterculture is the culprit.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

From Publishers Weekly: The legacy of the subtitle, according to Magnet, a Fortune magazine editorial board member and Manhattan Institute for Policy Research analyst, is "a liberal, left-of-central worldview" that, despite the intentions of the 1960s counterculture advocates, divides our society more fully than ever into Haves and Have-Nots. The sexual revolution and the focus on free "expressiveness" had the effect of holding "the poor back from advancement by robbing them of responsibility for their fate and thus further squelching their initiative and energy." The counterculture, as subscribed to by mainstream media, the federal courts and such figures as Ted Kennedy, befuddled the work ethic with idealistic notions of civil rights and fair wages. Finding a poverty of spirit in recent art, such as the fiction of Anne Beattie and Bret Easton Ellis, Magnet urges that we " stop the current welfare system, stop quota-based affirmative action . . . stop letting bums expropriate public spaces . . . stop Afrocentric education in the schools." Magnet offers many examples of societal ills but fails to make a convincing case that the legacy of the counterculture is the culprit. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

“To read Magnet is to realize that the conservative critique of contemporary America is the more-- indeed the only-- radical critique just now.”
– George F. Will

“The book of the decade…the most insightful analysis of what has gone wrong in America during the past thirty years I’ve seen.”
– Mona Charen, syndicated columnist

“It is rare for a single short book to case such penetrating light on the world in which we live that it instantly becomes an indispensable guide to the outstanding question of the day…The Dream and the Nightmare is a work of this extraordinary kind.”
– Hilton Kramer, The New Criterion

“An absorbing tale of how the honorable intentions of liberal do-gooders produced tragic consequences. It is also at heart a profoundly optimistic book…Many writers have addressed this topic in recent years but few have done so with more wisdom or more passion than Mr. Magnet.”
– The Wall Street Journal

“Guaranteed non-PC from beginning to end.”
– Tom Wolfe

“This superbly written and well argued book should stimulate discussions across the breadth of the political spectrum.”
– National Review

“A powerful analysis of the ties between 1960s-era intellectual trends and contemporary urban social breakdown.”
– New York Post

“It is a superb book, thoughtful and impassioned.”
– Irving Kristol

“A masterly overview…that yields extraordinary explanatory power.”
– Carolyn Lochhead, Reason

From the Publisher

Myron Magnet's The Dream and the Nightmare argues that the radical transformation of American culture that took place in the 1960s brought today's underclass-overwhelmingly urban, dismayingly minority-into existence. Lifestyle experimentation among the white middle class produced often catastrophic changes in attitudes toward marriage and parenting, the work ethic and dependency in those at the bottom of the social ladder and closed down their exits to the middle class. Texas Governor George W. Bush's presidential campaign recently highlighted the continuing importance of The Dream and the Nightmare when Bush strategist Karl Rove cited this book as a road map to the governor's philosophy of "compassionate conservatism.

When asked recently by the editors of the Wall Street Journal which book (besides the Bible) had most influenced him, this is what Gov. George W. Bush said:
"The Dream and the Nightmare by Myron Magnet crystallized for me the impact the failed culture of the sixties had on our values and society. It helped create dependency on government, undermine family and eroded values which had stood the test of time and which are critical if we want a decent and hopeful tomorrow for every single American."

About the Author

Myron Magnet is the editor of CITY JOURNAL, the Manhattan Institute's quarterly magazine of urban affairs, and a former member of the board of editors of FORTUNE magazine. His work as a writer has covered a wide range of topics: American society and social policy, economics, corporate management, intellectual history and literature. Married and the father of two teenagers, he lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
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