Book Critique: Harrington, Michael. The Other America. Dallas.: The Macmillan Company, 1962.

Essay by justing4College, UndergraduateA+, October 2007

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Book Critique

Harrington, Michael. The Other America. Dallas.: The Macmillan Company, 1962.

"They exist within the most powerful and rich society the world has ever known. Their misery has continued while the majority of the nation talked of itself as being 'affluent' and worried about the neuroses in the suburbs. In this way tens of millions of human beings became invisible. They dropped out of sight and out of mind; they were without their own personal voice(Harrington p. 184)." The Other America, written by Michael Harrington, is a book that brought gave a perspective on a section of society not known to most Americans. Harrington describes the "Other America," as; "Here are the unskilled workers, the migrant farm workers, the aged, the minorities, and all others who live in the economic underworld of American life." This book was used to shine light on the America that we don't see everyday, on television or in modern suburbia.

Harrington describes the hardships and problems that members of this "Other America" have to endure on a daily basis. Harrington describes throughout the book that poverty is a culture within itself. Harrington describes the poor as being caught in a vicious cycle, a cycle that is extremely difficult to escape.

Harrington's book played a crucial role in assisting in new reform ideas, and new insights into this "Other America" that we know nothing about. The book was extremely well written and was read by many great minds, whom all attempted to use what they had learned fro the book and apply it into everyday life. "Read by President John F. Kennedy, it was probably the driving force behind the "war on poverty." The Boston Globe editorialized that Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and expanded social security benefits were traceable to Harrington's ideas. Harrington...