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Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle over Black Family Life - from LBJ to Obama Paperback – Apr 3 2012
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“Freedom is Not Enough is a well written, insightful, and carefully documented social history of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan infamous report on black family life. Careful readers will appreciate James Patterson’s excellent and balanced discussion of the events surrounding this controversial report. Indeed, although other studies have focused on the Moynihan Report, none matches Patterson's creative synthesis and analysis of the complex racial, political, social, and cultural issues that influenced both the writing of the report and the public's reaction to it. Patterson's illuminating book is a must-read.”
John Dittmer, Professor Emeritus of History at Depauw University, and author of the Bancroft Prize winning Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
"Elegantly written, even-handed, and timely, Freedom is Not Enough is a tour de force. After exploring the controversy that has followed the Moynihan report down through the decades, Patterson concludes that Moynihan deserves far better than he has gotten. Not convinced? Then by all means read this book!"
E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Why Americans Hate Politics and Souled Out
“The debate unleashed by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan over the fate of the African-American family was one of the most difficult, important and misunderstood moments in our recent history. We should all be grateful that one of our greatest and most fluent historians has turned his shrewd attention to the episode. Freedom is Not Enough explains what the controversy was really about, unearths new evidence, and makes clear that this is a debate -- as President Obama has insisted -- still vital in our time. All who are committed to social justice and equality will profit from James Patterson’s riveting account.”
Nathan Glazer, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Harvard University
"James Patterson has written a full and absorbing history of the controversy that erupted over the Negro family and its connection to black poverty, in the wake of Daniel P. Moynihan's report of 1965. The issue was buried for decades, but inevitably re-emerged, shaped welfare reform in the 1990's, and is with us still 45 years after Moynihan's report."
“An astute, timely study of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s important 1965 jeremiad…an excellent revisiting of a prescient report.”
“Patterson presents a history of this controversial, now vindicated, report, which for decades informed and roiled the debate over black poverty in the nation's cities.”
Wall Street Journal
“This is a humble history, written without exaggeration or irony, and largely without bias. Below its modest exterior, however, lies a doleful cautionary tale about the vanity of politics and the limits of government, a tale that comes at a particularly apt political moment.”
About the Author
James T. Patterson is Ford Foundation Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. He is the author of 'Restless Giant', 'Brown V. Board of Education', and the Bancroft prize-winning 'Grand Expectations: The United States 1945-1974'. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book shows that is fundamentally mistaken, because Moynihan's cause is, in turn, caused by conditions in society and in historical situations affecting black families, things which are beyond their control. Patterson is a scholar who has no stake in the game, and relies on new demographic information to show the Moynihan scenario has not disappeared. Black families still frequently have the cards stacked against them by societal conditions.
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