By Wesley G. Phelps
In A People’s battle on Poverty, Wesley G. Phelps investigates the on-the-ground implementation of President Lyndon Johnson’s warfare on Poverty throughout the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. He argues that the fluid interplay among federal regulations, city politics, and grassroots activists created an important website of clash over the which means of yank democracy and the rights of citizenship that historians have mostly neglected. In Houston specifically, the battle on Poverty spawned fierce political battles that exposed primary disagreements over what democracy intended, how a ways it's going to expand, and who should still reap the benefits of it. a number of the program’s implementers took heavily the federal mandate to empower the bad as they driven for a extra participatory type of democracy that may comprise extra voters within the political, cultural, and financial lifetime of the city.
At the guts of this e-book are the very important yet nearly forgotten grassroots activists who administered federal conflict on Poverty courses, together with church ministers, federal application volunteers, scholars, neighborhood directors, civil rights activists, and the terrible themselves. The average nice Society liberalism that prompted the architects of the federal courses definitely galvanized neighborhood antipoverty activists in Houston. notwithstanding, their antipoverty philosophy used to be pushed extra by way of prophetic spiritual traditions and visions of participatory democracy and group organizing championed via the hot Left and iconoclastic figures like Saul Alinsky. by means of concentrating on those neighborhood actors, Phelps exhibits that grassroots activists in Houston have been stimulated by way of a way more assorted set of highbrow and political traditions, fueling their efforts to extend the which means of democracy. eventually, this episode in Houston’s heritage finds either the probabilities and the bounds of city democracy within the 20th century.
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