Freedom Is Not Enough by James T. Patterson
The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle over Black Family Life--from LBJ to Obama

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Synopsis

On June 4, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson delivered what he and many others considered the greatest civil rights speech of his career. Proudly, Johnson hailed the new freedoms granted to African Americans due to the newly passed Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but noted that “freedom is not enough.” The next stage of the movement would be to secure racial equality “as a fact and a result.”

The speech was drafted by an assistant secretary of labor by the name of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had just a few months earlier drafted a scorching report on the deterioration of the urban black family in America. When that report was leaked to the press a month after Johnson’s speech, it created a whirlwind of controversy from which Johnson’s civil rights initiatives would never recover. But Moynihan’s arguments proved startlingly prescient, and established the terms of a debate about welfare policy that have endured for forty-five years.

The history of one of the great missed opportunities in American history, Freedom Is Not Enough will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand our nation’s ongoing failure to address the tragedy of the black underclass.

 

About James T. Patterson

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James T. Patterson is Ford Foundation Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University. Author of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore, Brown v. Board of Education, and the Bancroft Prize-winning Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974, he lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
 
Published April 13, 2010 by Basic Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Although Johnson incorporated many of Moynihan’s ideas into an important speech at Howard University’s commencement on June 4, the eruption of violence in the Watts ghetto and widespread criticism of Moynihan’s outspoken report soon eclipsed its prophetic message that a “unity of purpose” in fede...

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The Wall Street Journal

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In March 1965, a young political appointee in the Labor Department named Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report warning of high levels of out-of-wedlock births in the black community.

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Freedom Is Not Enough: The Mo...

Bookmarks Magazine

Proudly, Johnson hailed the new freedoms granted to African Americans due to the newly passed Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but noted that “freedom is not enough.” The next stage of the movement would be to secure racial equality “as a fact and a result.”The speech was drafted by an ...

May 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Freedom Is Not Enough: The Mo...

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