Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon Johnson launched an unprecedented political crusade to eradicate poverty in America - an unconditional "War on Poverty" that transcended Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal agenda. Set into motion with the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), a federal agency established after the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, this bold crusade aimed to break the cycle of a culture of poverty by attacking its causes in urban ghettos and depressed rural areas. The War on Poverty ...
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Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History

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Overview

In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon Johnson launched an unprecedented political crusade to eradicate poverty in America - an unconditional "War on Poverty" that transcended Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal agenda. Set into motion with the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), a federal agency established after the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, this bold crusade aimed to break the cycle of a culture of poverty by attacking its causes in urban ghettos and depressed rural areas. The War on Poverty formulated and administered an array of novel programs, including the Community Action Program, the Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Project Head Start, and the Legal Services Program. Despite criticism by political opponents, despite budgetary restraints, and despite the failure to achieve the lofty goal of ridding the nation of poverty, most of the social programs established under OEO still exist today. Launching the War on Poverty - the first single-volume oral history of this momentous federal plan to help society's least fortunate - brings the antipoverty crusade to life through the testimony of its creators. The author, Michael Gillette, has compiled interviews with forty-eight "poverty warriors" from the 1,700 oral history interviews in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. These brave planners were an assorted lot of borrowed government officials, business professionals, academics, experts on poverty, and freelance kibitzers, from the nation's top law schools and graduate programs. Their narratives focus on federal policies and the political climate of the 1960s, and document how policymakers perceived the problem of poverty and its possible solutions. Today, the welfare programs of the Great Society are criticized as a failure of liberal idealism; but these firsthand testimonies demonstrate that the strategies of the original poverty warriors were rooted in the American work ethic and were designed to encourage self-help instead
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Launching the War on Poverty in its revised form will continue to provide specialists in the areas of public policy and the domestic reforms of the 1960s with an important record of one of the most ambitious programs of Johnson's Great Society." —Sound Historian

"Michael Gillette has assembled in the words of the participants the inside story of how Lyndon Johnson mounted his war on poverty and created the Office of Economic Opportunity. This book offers the reader a unique seat at the tables in Washington where the poverty program was conceived, written into law and carried out. It is an invaluable and exciting look at history the way it really happened."- Hon. Joseph A. Califano Jr., chief assistant for domestic affairs to President Lyndon B. Johnson (1965-1969) and Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (1977-1979)

"An indispensable guide to the federal war on poverty and the programs that formed its core. This is oral history at its finest." - David M. Oshinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story

"An excellent collection." — CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199779864
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/10/2010
  • Series: Oxford Oral History Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Sales rank: 1,333,783
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Michael L. Gillette directed the LBJ Library's Oral History Program from 1976 to 1991. He subsequently served as director of the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives for twelve years and is currently executive director of Humanities Texas, the state humanities council.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: Camelot Confronts the Culture of Poverty
Chapter 2: The War on Poverty Task Force
Chapter 3: Creating the Community Action Program
Chapter 4: Employment versus Poverty
Chapter 5: Rural Programs
Chapter 6: The Enactment of Poverty Legislation
Chapter 7: The Office of Economic Opportunity: "The Most Action in Town"
Chapter 8: The Job Corps
Chapter 9: The Community Action Program
Chapter 10: An Early Success: Project Head Start
Chapter 11: Advocates for the Poor: VISTA and the Legal Services Program
Chapter 12: Delegated Programs
Chapter 13: Challenges to Head Start
Chapter 14: The Job Corps under Siege
Chapter 15: "Keeping the Trash in One Pile": Legislative Battles
Chapter 16: OEO's Struggle to Endure
Chapter 17: Epilogue and Assessments
Appendix: Oral History Interviews
Notes
Bibliography
Websites
Index

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