Searching for America's Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope

Searching for America's Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope

by Peter Edelman
     
 

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Peter Edelman has worked as an aide to Robert F. Kennedy, a lawyer, a children's advocate, and a policymaker. He has devoted his life to the cause of justice and to ending inequality. But in 1996, while serving in the Clinton administration as an expert on welfare policy and children, he found himself in an untenable position. The president signed a new welfare bill… See more details below

Overview

Peter Edelman has worked as an aide to Robert F. Kennedy, a lawyer, a children's advocate, and a policymaker. He has devoted his life to the cause of justice and to ending inequality. But in 1996, while serving in the Clinton administration as an expert on welfare policy and children, he found himself in an untenable position. The president signed a new welfare bill that ended a sixty-year federal commitment to poor children, and as justification invoked the words of RFK. For Edelman, Clinton's twisting of Kennedy's vision was deeply cynical, so in a rare gesture that sparked front-page coverage in the New York Times and the Washington Post, he resigned from the administration. The nation, he believed, had been harmed.
Drawing on Edelman's vast personal experience with the issues and many of the key figures, SEARCHING FOR AMERICA'S HEART shows that in an age of unprecedented prosperity, Americans have in many respects forsaken their fellow citizens. While we daily break economic records, we have largely given up our vision of social and economic justice, leaving behind a devastatingly large number of poor and near-poor, many of them children. Edelman shines a bright light on these forgotten Americans. Also, based in part on a firsthand look at community efforts across the country, he proposes a bold and practical program for addressing the difficult issues of entrenched poverty. Edelman focuses on novel ways of braiding together national and local civic activism, reinvigorating our commitment to children, and building hope in our most shattered communities.
Surveying the American landscape at the beginning a new presidency and a new Congress, SEARCHING FOR AMERICA'S HEART lays the foundation for a newly conceived politics, a vision true to the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Edelman chronicles the... dramatic fall of concern for the poor in this blend of policy history, autobiography, and call to political action.... Readers who have held on to their liberal convictions will find Edelman's take refreshing." -- Publishers Weekly

"A moving and insightful look at poverty, attitudes and social programs in the United States [and] an inspiring portrait of a public servant who believes government can, and should, make a difference in people's lives." -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547561363
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
01/22/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Part memoir and part manifesto, this is a beautifully written call to renew the fight against poverty." -- Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation

" Searching for America's Heart is the deeply felt account of one man's journey through presidential politics and power... illuminating." -- Michael Beschloss, author of The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman, and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany

"I have read a lot of books on inequality, but none offers a more thoughtful vision of poverty and welfare in America than Searching for America's Heart. Engaging and well-written... compelling." -- William Julius Wilson, author of When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor

"The book lives up to its title, will touch the hearts of its readers, even as it gets to the heart of what a rich and mighty nation still needs to do to realize its many possibilities." -- Robert Coles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of many books including The Political Life of Children

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