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Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle Over Black Family Life--From LBJ to Obama
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Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle Over Black Family Life--From LBJ to Obama

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A Bancroft Prize-winning historian narrates the birth, life, and afterlife of the explosive report that permanently altered the way we talk about race in America
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Published May 4th 2010 by Basic Books (first published 2010)
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Frank Stein
Dec 30, 2010 Frank Stein rated it really liked it
I fully admit to having an almost pathological interest in the Moynihan report, the 1965 Department of Labor essay that warned about problems in lower-class black families that could undermine the civil rights advances of previous years. For me, after all, it was a conference on "The Moynihan Report Revisited" sponsored by Harvard in 2007, which I listened to by podcast and which I later read the essays from, that probably pushed me to a final break with my old liberalism. So when I read that Ja ...more
May 15, 2010 Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the history of American public policy, few reports have been as seminal and controversial as what became known, after its initial publication in 1965, as the Moynihan Report. In it, then Labor Department visionary bureaucrat and future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan painted a harrowing picture of one of the most concerning societal developments of the time: the decline of the Black family and the concomitant social dysfunction that resulted from it. Initially developed solely to influence se ...more
Vannessa Anderson

You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please. You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "You are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability

Feb 23, 2015 J.P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an okay book. Informative for sure but not really anything special. I thought in addition to it being about the Moynihan Report, it would go into the issues that black people face & how it relates to his report & where he went right & where he went wrong. It is basically about the fallout from the report & his subsequent career. It does gives some time to issues with his approach & what he got wrong but I feel it is minimal. His belief in patriarchal family structure ...more
Temple Dog
Jul 05, 2012 Temple Dog rated it it was ok
I read this book because James Patterson was on NPR and President Obama referenced Patrick Moynihan in his book The Audacity of Hope.

Although Patterson does an exceptional job of quoting statistics and referencing innumerable scholars, politicians, pertinent activists and Moynihan’s detractors, he provides little if any analysis of his own.

To his credit, Patterson does contend that Moynihan’s 1965 report on the Negro Family has proved prescient, however, the books continued focus on the family a
Donna Jo Atwood
The Moynihan Report caused a big furor in the USA's look at race and poverty. It might have led to a genuine dialogue about both, but the timing couldn't have been worse--The Watts Riots took over the headlines. The Moynihan Report, and Patterson's book about it, is not about easy answers, but a claim about culture and religion.
Fifty years after the Report, in a time of not just black culture, but of many growing ethnic communities, we need to learn how to truly listen to each other
May 01, 2015 Liam rated it really liked it
"'The great, guilty, hateful secret ... is that Negroes are not swingers. They are Southern Protestants. They like jobs in the civil service. They support the war in Vietnam, approve the draft, [and] support the President.'" (quoting Moynihan, 102)

"'We understand the weather far better than we used to, after all, but while better understanding has produced better forecasts, it has not produced better weather.'" (quoting Ellwood and Jencks, 196)
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
Patterson traces the interplay of class, race and politics through the lens of Sen. Patrick Moyihan's 1964 report on the Black Family. The issues of the underclass in America defy resolution both because what can't be addressed and what many don't want to pay for. Worth reading for the perfidy on both the left and right and how easy it is to not face the impact of social change.
Mike Horne
Apr 13, 2014 Mike Horne rated it really liked it
If you are interested in the Moynihan report, the black under class, or welfare this is an excellent book. The Finch actually used the Moynihan Report when she was teaching in the 70S.

"The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, which determines the success of society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself." Moynihan
Steve Churchill
Aug 16, 2010 Steve Churchill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book!
Aug 25, 2012 Julie marked it as to-read
Not THE James Patterson. Sounds intriguing though..
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