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Who's Afraid of Frances Fox Piven?: The Essential Writings of the Professor Glenn Beck Loves to Hateby Frances Fox Piven
Synopses & Reviews
"Piven, the noted political scientist who along with her late husband, Richard Cloward, has long studied and advocated for political empowerment strategies for the American poor, offers a sampling of her academic articles prompted by the conservative radio host Glenn Beck's virulent attacks on her. Reaching as far back as the early 1960s and concluding with a recent biographically detailed interview between the author and activist-philosopher Cornel West, Piven (Challenging Authority) eloquently dissects the structures of political influence. She concludes that 'disruptive' actions by the poor (i.e., actions short of violence, such as rent strikes, that 'break the rules' of the game) remain virtually the sole political means of addressing inequalities in a system from which they are largely excluded. Piven asks essential questions about and proposes solutions for the increasingly unequal distribution of political power (tied of course to the increasingly narrow concentration of economic power). After debt-ceiling deals and austerity cuts in the U.S., and riots in poor communities across England, these insightful, well-argued essays prove historically informative and remarkably timely, a true find for the general reader looking to make sense of political power in an imperfect democracy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
One of Glenn Becks "nine most dangerous people in the world," the sociologist, author and co-author (with her late husband Richard Cloward) Frances Fox Piven has been credited with nefarious accomplishments that range from bringing about the nations economic collapse, fomenting "violent revolution," and creating a "culture of poverty" in America. Accused of being an "enemy of the people" bent on undermining the U.S. Constitution, Piven has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign of hatred and disinformation, spearheaded by Beck through his television and radio broadcasts. These attacks have escalated in the past several months, leading to a campaign to defend the longtime social scientist and activist. Piven was recently assigned both FBI and New York State police protection after receiving death threats spurred by Glenn Beck and his followers.
We may well ask how it is that a distinguished university professor, past president of the American Sociological Association, and recipient for numerous awards and accolades for her work on behalf of the poor and for American voting rights, has attracted so much negative attention from a Fox News host.
Whos Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? is a concise, accessible introduction to Pivens thinking as it has developed over the past four decades, from her early work on welfare rights and her pivotal analysis of "poor peoples movements," through her influential examination of American voting habits, and her recent work on the possibilities for a new movement for progressive reform. A major corrective to Right-wing bombast, this essential little book is also rich source of ideas and inspiration for anyone hoping and working — for progressive change.
The sociologist and political scientist Frances Fox Piven and her late husband Richard Cloward have been famously credited by Glenn Beck with devising the Cloward/Piven Strategy,” a world view responsible, according to Beck, for everything from creating a culture of poverty” and fomenting violent revolution” to causing global warming and the recent financial crisis. Called an enemy of the people,” over the past year Piven has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign of hatred and disinformation, spearheaded by Beck.
How is it that a distinguished university professor, past president of the American Sociological Association, and recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her work on behalf of the poor and for American voting rights, has attracted so much negative attention? For anyone who is skeptical of the World According to Beck, here is a guide to the ideas that Glenn fears most.
Whos Afraid of Frances Fox Piven? is a concise, accessible introduction to Pivens actual thinking (versus Becks outrageous claims), from her early work on welfare rights and poor peoples movements,” written with her late husband Richard Cloward, through her influential examination of American voting habits, and her most recent work on the possibilities for a new movement for progressive reform. A major corrective to right-wing bombast, this essential book is also a rich source of ideas and inspiration for anyone interested in progressive change.
About the Author
Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Regulating the Poor, Poor Peoples Movements, The New Class War, and The Breaking of the American Social Compact (The New Press), and co-author, with the late Richard A. Cloward of Why Americans Dont Vote. She is the recipient of the American Sociological Association Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology. She lives in Manhattan and Millerton, New York.
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