Overview

The first edition of Tally's Corner, a sociological classic selling more than one million copies, was the first compelling response to the culture of poverty thesis—that the poor are different and, according to conservatives, morally inferior—and alternative explanations that many African Americans are caught in a tangle of pathology owing to the absence of black men in families. The debate has raged up to the present day. Yet Liebow's shadow theory of values—especially the values of poor, urban, black ...
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Tally's Corner: A Study of Negro Streetcorner Men

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Overview

The first edition of Tally's Corner, a sociological classic selling more than one million copies, was the first compelling response to the culture of poverty thesis—that the poor are different and, according to conservatives, morally inferior—and alternative explanations that many African Americans are caught in a tangle of pathology owing to the absence of black men in families. The debate has raged up to the present day. Yet Liebow's shadow theory of values—especially the values of poor, urban, black men—remains the single most parsimonious account of the reasons why the behavior of the poor appears to be at odds with the values of the American mainstream.

While Elliot Liebow's vivid narrative of "street-corner" black men remains unchanged, the new introductions to this long-awaited revised edition bring the book up to date. Wilson and Lemert describe the debates since 1965 and situate Liebow's classic text in respect to current theories of urban poverty and race. They account for what Liebow might have seen had he studied the street corner today after welfare has been virtually ended and the drug economy had taken its toll. They also take stock of how the new global economy is a source of added strain on the urban poor. Discussion of field methods since the 1960s rounds out the book's new coverage.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
From Reviews of the First Edition:

Elliot Liebow is an honest and talented anthropologist who can see clearly, feel unashamedly, and write a straight lively sentence. His book, Tally's Corner . . . emerges as a valuable and even surprising triumph.
—Sunday New York Times

This is a sharp, hard-hitting observation of a segment of life and society in action.
—Washington Star

Nothing short of brilliant—a work of importance
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The Washington Post
It's a remarkable book, an academic work - it grew out of Liebow's doctoral thesis - that isn't dry or boring. It's an in-depth look at a group of men who routinely hung out on a Washington street corner in the early 1960s. These are poor men, flawed men, unemployed and underemployed men. But they are treated with respect. And although Liebow used pseudonyms, giving the men such names as Tally, Sea Cat, Richard and Leroy, they come across as flesh-and-blood individuals. When Tally's Corner was published in 1967, the New York Times called it "a valuable and even surprising triumph." The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) called it "nothing short of brilliant."
William Julius Wilson
The true mark of a classic book is whether it can withstand the test of time. [Liebow's] arguments concerning the work experience and family life of black street-corner men in a Washington, D.C. ghetto still ring true today. . . . In the last three decades, low-skilled African-American males have encountered greater difficulty gaining access to jobs, even menial jobs.
Charles Lemert
Whenever and wherever people come out of the dark to face the shadow of America's befuddled relation to the Black man of the city, Tally's Corner is somewhere on the penumbra of consciousness, serving as a lifeline against the currents of ill-informed racist blather about urban poverty. . . . The story of the Black man of the city is ultimately the story of the modern city itself, and in turn of the postmodern global economy. It is a story that is nowhere near its final chapter.
Herbert Gans
Tally's Corner is an important book for anyone seeking to understand America.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780585479194
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/8/2003
  • Series: Legacies of Social Thought Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 610,565
  • File size: 652 KB

Meet the Author

Elliot Liebow (1925-1994) served as chief of the Center for the Study of Work and Mental Health of the National Institute of Mental Health. Liebow wrote Tally's Corner as his Ph.D. dissertation at the Catholic University of America. He also published Tell Them Who I Am, a study of homeless women in America, in 1993.
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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Foreword to the 2003 Edition
Chapter 2 Foreword to the 1967 Edition
Chapter 3
Chapter 1: Introduction to the 2003 Edition
Chapter 4
Chapter 2: Men and Jobs
Chapter 5
Chapter 3: Fathers without Children
Chapter 6
Chapter 4: Husbands and Wives
Chapter 7
Chapter 5: Lovers and Exploiters
Chapter 8
Chapter 6: Friends and Networks
Chapter 9
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Chapter 10 Appendix: A Field Experience in Retrospect
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