Michael Harrington

individual

Overview

  • Founded the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee
  • Founded the Democratic Socialists of America

Probably the most well-known socialist in the United States during his lifetime, Michael Harrington (1928-1989) was a prominent activist who founded the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Democratic Socialists of America in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1962 he wrote The Other America, a book about poverty in the United States that influenced the policies of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ War on Poverty. Harrington said, “People who are much too sensitive to demand of cripples that they run races, ask of the poor that they get up and act just like everybody else in society.” In the 1960s, Harrington was an opponent of the anti-Americanism and Communist sympathies of the New Left, but in the 1980s he muted his criticisms in favor of a popular front coalition with the radicals.

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