In The First Year of the Sixties, James T. Patterson traces the transformative events of this critical year, showing how 1965 saw an idealistic and upbeat nation derailed by developments both at home and abroad. An entire generation of Americans—as well as the country’s politics, culture, race relations, and foreign policies—would never be the same.
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.
From the first the Roosevelt Congress had had its "irreconcilables" -- men like Carter Glass, Millard Tydings, and Harry Byrd -- who viewed the New Deal with dismay, and in the voting on the public utilities holding company bill and the surprise tax measure of 1935 they were joined by a significant number of other congressmen who had hitherto supported the administration. It was, however, Roosevelt's plan to enlarge the Supreme Court that proved to be the turning point. This controversial measure provided a common issue on which conservatives, both Republican and Democratic, could unite -- the "irreconcilables," Republicans like Arthur Vandenberg, others like Charles McNary, and nominal Democratic progressives like Burton K. Wheeler. Following this crucial confrontation, the bipartisan conservative coalition was able to control enough votes to oppose the administration on such key measures as the fair labor standards and housing bills of 1937, the reorganization and tax bills of 1938, and the relief and tax bills of 1939. Incited by grievances over patronage, a feeling that the emergency was past, and fears of radicalism, congressmen increasingly asserted their independence of executive leadership.
In this 1966 Organization of American Historians award-winning book, Patterson has provided a new exploration of one of the most significant developments in recent American history-the creation by conservative congressmen of a pattern of cooperation that continues to exert a potent influence upon the course of legislation.
Originally published in 1969.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.