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Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary

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Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary Cover

ISBN13: 9781586488017
ISBN10: 1586488015
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the kind of figure who almost makes you wish there were more intellectuals in American political life. The problem is, there was only one Moynihan. Professor, bureaucrat, presidential adviser, ambassador, and finally U.S. senator from New York from 1977 to 2001, he could as easily write a White House memo citing Jean Paul Sartre as a warm note to Tammany Hall's Carmine DeSapio, telling the imprisoned New York City Democratic Party boss in 1972 how sorry he was to hear that federal authorities had denied his request for parole. 'If you are ever around Boston,' he wrote, 'you should know you have a friend on the Harvard faculty.'" Steven Lagerfeld, The Wilson Quarterly (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Daniel Patrick Moynihan died in 2003 the Economist described him as “a philosopher-politician-diplomat who two centuries earlier would not have been out of place among the Founding Fathers.” Though Moynihan never wrote an autobiography, he was a gifted author and voluminous correspondent, and in this selection from his letters Steven Weisman has compiled a vivid portrait of Moynihans life, in the senators own words.

Before his four terms as Senator from New York, Moynihan served in key positions under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. His letters offer an extraordinary window into particular moments in history, from his feelings of loss at JFKs assassination, to his passionate pleas to Nixon not to make Vietnam a Nixon war, to his frustrations over healthcare and welfare reform during the Clinton era.

This book showcases the unbridled range of Moynihans intellect and interests, his appreciation for his constituents, his renowned wit, and his warmth even for those with whom he profoundly disagreed. Its publication is a significant literary event.

Review:

"Weisman, a public policy fellow at the Peterson Institute (The Great Tax Wars) has accomplished an extraordinary feat in assembling this selection from among 10,000 pages of letters bequeathed by Senator Moynihan to the Library of Congress. Weisman provides a short overview of Moynihan's life and an introduction to each of his letters. In a moving epilogue, Maura Moynihan puts it best. Despite an active political life, her father, she says, was first and foremost a writer. 'He wrote every day-even at Christmas.' Not only was Moynihan's correspondence voluminous (he saved copies of every letter he wrote), he also authored several controversial books (Miles to Go, Secrecy and Family and Nation among them). Although he was a Democrat, and a member of JFK's White House, he also served as an advisor to Richard Nixon, an ambassador to India, a professor at Harvard, and was elected to the senate four times. With correspondence that begins in 1951 when Moynihan, upon finishing college after a stint in the Navy, attended the London School of Economics on a Fulbright scholarship, and ends shortly before his death in 2003, this collection is not only a tremendous resource to scholars, but an invaluable window into the mind and heart of an extraordinary man.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

A unique publishing event: The private letters of a great American statesman and philosopher—available to the public for the first time—offer extraordinary insight into both the man and our times

About the Author

Steven R. Weisman is editorial director and public policy fellow at the Peterson Institute in Washington, DC; before that he was the chief international economics correspondent of the New York Times. He also served at the Times as a member of the editorial board, specializing in politics and economics (1995–2002) and as deputy foreign editor. He is the author of The Great Tax Wars: Lincoln to Wilson—The Fierce Battles over Money and Power That Transformed the Nation, which received the Sidney Hillman Award in 2003 for the book that most advances the cause of social justice.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

reader.gregory, January 4, 2011 (view all comments by reader.gregory)
"Superb! This book shows Moynihan in his many capacities: scholar, public servant, politician, diplomat, gadfly, and friend. His humor leavens this collection and he is revealed as erudite but sometimes profane, insightful and often prophetic, prickly but generous. These pages contain nuggets of policy analysis, too. Editor Weisman offers just the right balance of explanation and context to give this invaluable volume a backbone of narrative flow but never to the detriment of Moynihan's out-sized personality and infectious zeal for life and doing what is right. This is one of the best books by and about public life I have read in a long, long time. we can only hope more unreconstructed "characters" like Moynihan (like, but not the same as) continue to pop up in the American experiment."
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781586488017
Author:
Moynihan, Daniel Patrick
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Editor:
Weisman, Steve
Author:
Weisman, Steve
Author:
Weisman, Steven R.
Subject:
Political
Subject:
General
Subject:
Letters
Subject:
Biography-Political
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
including a 16-pp. b/w photo insert
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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History and Social Science » Law » Schools and Careers
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » Contemporary

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary Used Hardcover
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Product details 736 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781586488017 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Weisman, a public policy fellow at the Peterson Institute (The Great Tax Wars) has accomplished an extraordinary feat in assembling this selection from among 10,000 pages of letters bequeathed by Senator Moynihan to the Library of Congress. Weisman provides a short overview of Moynihan's life and an introduction to each of his letters. In a moving epilogue, Maura Moynihan puts it best. Despite an active political life, her father, she says, was first and foremost a writer. 'He wrote every day-even at Christmas.' Not only was Moynihan's correspondence voluminous (he saved copies of every letter he wrote), he also authored several controversial books (Miles to Go, Secrecy and Family and Nation among them). Although he was a Democrat, and a member of JFK's White House, he also served as an advisor to Richard Nixon, an ambassador to India, a professor at Harvard, and was elected to the senate four times. With correspondence that begins in 1951 when Moynihan, upon finishing college after a stint in the Navy, attended the London School of Economics on a Fulbright scholarship, and ends shortly before his death in 2003, this collection is not only a tremendous resource to scholars, but an invaluable window into the mind and heart of an extraordinary man.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review A Day" by , "Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the kind of figure who almost makes you wish there were more intellectuals in American political life. The problem is, there was only one Moynihan. Professor, bureaucrat, presidential adviser, ambassador, and finally U.S. senator from New York from 1977 to 2001, he could as easily write a White House memo citing Jean Paul Sartre as a warm note to Tammany Hall's Carmine DeSapio, telling the imprisoned New York City Democratic Party boss in 1972 how sorry he was to hear that federal authorities had denied his request for parole. 'If you are ever around Boston,' he wrote, 'you should know you have a friend on the Harvard faculty.'" (Read the entire Wilson Quarterly review)
"Synopsis" by ,
A unique publishing event: The private letters of a great American statesman and philosopher—available to the public for the first time—offer extraordinary insight into both the man and our times
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