The Other America – Michael Harrington (1962)


The Other America is Michael Harrington‘s best known and likely most influential book. He was an American democratic socialist, writer, political activist, political theorist, professor of political science, radio commentator, and founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He believed that American Socialists could support certain Democratic Party candidates, including candidates for President. The book was a study of poverty in the United States, published in 1962 by Macmillan. … A widely read review, ‘Our Invisible Poor,’ in The New Yorker by Dwight Macdonald brought the book to the attention of President John F. Kennedy. The Other America argued that up to 25% of the nation was living in poverty. Many (such as historian Maurice Isserman) believe that this book is responsible for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty.’ The Penguin Books paperback editions have sold over one million copies. The Boston Globe editorialized that Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and expanded social security benefits were traceable to Harrington’s ideas. With the book’s acceptance, many believe Harrington became the pre-eminent spokesman for democratic socialism in America. By 1980, Harrington considered a run for President himself, though he threw his support to Democratic candidates instead. …”
Wikipedia
New Yorker: Our Invisible Poor By Dwight MacDonald (January 19, 1963)
Dissent – 50 Years Later: Poverty and The Other America
NY Times – Michael Harrington: Warrior on Poverty
Seeing What No One Else Could See
amazon

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