By Harold Silver

ISBN-10: 0511522355

ISBN-13: 9780511522352

ISBN-10: 0521025869

ISBN-13: 9780521025867

ISBN-10: 0521381495

ISBN-13: 9780521381499

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Extra info for An Educational War on Poverty: American and British Policy-making 1960-1980

Example text

It was Paul Ylvisaker more than anyone at Ford who, in the late 1950s (he joined the Foundation in 1955), took it 'to a different constituency', starting with the problems of migration and the city. He recalls how one of his colleagues, Alvin C. Eurich, 'began talking with school superintendents of the major cities, and the Education Program... was the powerful Program at the time. And Al began to fool around with a league of fourteen superintendents headed by Ben Willis of Chicago'. They asked Ford, in effect, for some 'millions to throw at the problem'.

The poor were white urban hillbillies and a variety of others: a quarter were black. It was a poverty of the old and the young - his review of the statistics and definitions led him to the conclusion that roughly a quarter of the American population was poor, and probably a third of those were under eighteen. Others proposed even higher figures - and Harrington himself was in 1965 calculating that between a quarter and a third of young people were poor (A: Harrington, 1962; Harrington, 1965b, 28-9).

Two other books are credited, and rightly so, with having finally shifted the terms of the debate as begun by Conant, and doing so very shortly afterwards. The voice of white poverty was heard most clearly from Harry CaudilPs Night Comes to the Cumberlands: a biography of a depressed area. Appearing in 1962, Caudill's book described in vivid detail the decline and rape of the land in the Appalachian valleys, the total backwardness to which the populations had been confined, the low standards of living, the high rate of illiteracy, the incurable levels of unemployment, the overwhelming sense of social disaster in eastern Kentucky and similar areas of the Appalachians (A: Caudill, 1962).

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An Educational War on Poverty: American and British Policy-making 1960-1980 by Harold Silver

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