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Moynihan began searching for a way to press the point within the Johnson administration.“I felt I had to write a paper about the Negro family,” Moynihan later recalled, “to explain to the fellows how there was a problem more difficult than they knew.” In March of 1965, Moynihan printed up 100 copies of a report he and a small staff had labored over for only a few months.In 1943, he tested into the City College of New York, walking into the examination room with a longshoreman’s loading hook in his back pocket so that he would not “be mistaken for any sissy kid.” After a year at CCNY, he enlisted in the Navy, which paid for him to go to Tufts University for a bachelor’s degree.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, as an adviser to President Nixon, promoted a guaranteed minimum income for all families, in part to help unravel the “tangle of pathology” he had famously diagnosed in his report on “The Negro Family.” August 25, 1969.
(Associated Press)Influenced by the civil-rights movement, Moynihan focused on the black family.
In 1959, Moynihan began writing for Irving Kristol’s magazine , covering everything from organized crime to auto safety. Kennedy as president, in 1960, gave Moynihan a chance to put his broad curiosity to practical use; he was hired as an aide in the Department of Labor.
Moynihan was, by then, an anticommunist liberal with a strong belief in the power of government to both study and solve social problems. His fear of being taken for a “sissy kid” had diminished.
In London, he’d cultivated a love of wine, fine cheeses, tailored suits, and the mannerisms of an English aristocrat. A cultured civil servant not to the manor born, Moynihan—witty, colorful, loquacious—charmed the Washington elite, moving easily among congressional aides, politicians, and journalists.
As the historian James Patterson writes in , his book about Moynihan, he was possessed by “the optimism of youth.” He believed in the marriage of government and social science to formulate policy.
Moynihan believed that unemployment, specifically male unemployment, was the biggest impediment to the social mobility of the poor.
He was, it might be said, a conservative radical who disdained service programs such as Head Start and traditional welfare programs such as Aid to Families With Dependent Children, and instead imagined a broad national program that subsidized families through jobs programs for men and a guaranteed minimum income for every family.
State officials have recommended Odell for release three times since 1992, but he has not been freed. furnished much of the biographical information in this section.
Patterson’s book is deeply sympathetic to Moynihan in ways that I don’t quite agree with, but I found it invaluable for understanding Moynihan as a human.