The (Still) Relevant Socialist: Michael Harrington


| August 1, 2000


The (Still) Relevant Socialist: Michael Harrington

In 1962 Michael Harrington sparked a war on poverty. He published The Other America, an excursion into the life of the dispossessed that destroyed the popular notion that 'the affluent society' encompassed the whole of America, and provided the inspiration for many of Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society' programs.

Harold Meyerson, one of Harrington's 'converts,' takes a step back in the Atlantic Monthly to look at his life and legacy, reviewing Maurice Isserman's new biography of Harrington: The Other American. Biographer Isserman and Meyerson, who once called Harrington 'the last white boy in America who could give a speech,' portray Harrington as a social visionary who remained true to his own gospel.

Harrington, arguably the most charismatic figure on the American left in the past half-century, extolled a timeless message both passionate and practical that may apply to the current struggles to preserve democracy in the age of globalization. -- Amanda LukerGo there>>