Definitions

Moynihan

Moynihan

Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, 1927-2003, American sociologist and politician, b. Tulsa, Okla., grad. Tufts (B.A., 1948; M.A., 1949; Ph.D., 1961). Raised in a poor neighborhood of New York City, he became active in Democratic party politics in the 1950s. With Nathan Glazer he wrote Beyond the Melting Pot (1963), an influential study of American ethnicity. Under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, he worked in the Dept. of Labor (1961-65), where he rose to the post of assistant secretary. In 1965 his office issued The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, commonly known as the Moynihan Report. Its conclusion that African-American urban poverty could be traced in part to a breakdown of family structure was at the time much criticized by civil-rights activists but is now generally regarded as an unusually prescient analysis.

After teaching for several years at Harvard, Moynihan returned to government as a special adviser to President Nixon. He later served as ambassador to India (1973-75) and to the United Nations (1975-76). He was first elected to the U.S. Senate from New York as a Democrat in 1976 and was reelected three times. Although Moynihan's policy declarations in the 1960s and early 70s were among the most significant formulations of what was called "neoliberalism" or "neoconservatism," in the Senate he was a consistent critic of the Reagan and Bush administrations, which enjoyed the support of many neoconservatives, and a strong supporter of Democratic presidents Carter and Clinton. He chaired the Senate finance committee from 1993 to 1995. He also had a lifelong interest in architecture and did much to retain, restore, and build important structures in New York City and Washington. Moynihan retired from the Senate in 2001; subsequently, he served on the faculty of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse Univ. His many books include Family and Nation (1986), Came the Revolution (1988), On the Law of Nations (1990), and Secrecy (1998).

See biographies by D. Schoen (1979) and G. Hodgson (2000).

(born March 16, 1927, Tulsa, Okla., U.S.—died March 26, 2003, Washington, D.C.) U.S. scholar and politician. He grew up in poverty in New York City. After serving in the U.S. navy in World War II, he attended Tufts University, where he earned a doctorate in 1961. From 1961 to 1965 he worked at the U.S. Labor Department, where he cowrote a controversial report that attributed the educational problems of African Americans to the instability of urban African American families. He taught at Harvard (1966–77) and held advisory posts in the administration of Richard Nixon. He was ambassador to India (1973–75) and U.S. representative to the UN (1975–76). He ran successfully for the U.S. Senate from New York in 1976; though he was a Democrat, his candidacy was opposed by many Democratic liberals. Reelected three times, he retired in 2001. In 2000 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Learn more about Moynihan, Daniel Patrick with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 16, 1927, Tulsa, Okla., U.S.—died March 26, 2003, Washington, D.C.) U.S. scholar and politician. He grew up in poverty in New York City. After serving in the U.S. navy in World War II, he attended Tufts University, where he earned a doctorate in 1961. From 1961 to 1965 he worked at the U.S. Labor Department, where he cowrote a controversial report that attributed the educational problems of African Americans to the instability of urban African American families. He taught at Harvard (1966–77) and held advisory posts in the administration of Richard Nixon. He was ambassador to India (1973–75) and U.S. representative to the UN (1975–76). He ran successfully for the U.S. Senate from New York in 1976; though he was a Democrat, his candidacy was opposed by many Democratic liberals. Reelected three times, he retired in 2001. In 2000 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Learn more about Moynihan, Daniel Patrick with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Search another word or see moynihanon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;