Michael Harrington, b. Feb. 24, 1928


Today is the anniversary of the birth of MICHAEL HARRINGTON. Harrington provided the intellectual ammunition for what became President Johnson’s War on Poverty when he published THE OTHER AMERICA examining poverty in the United States

Influenced in his youth by Catholic Social Thought, the continuing secret of the Church, Harrington joined the Catholic Worker Movement, a peace-justice group founded by Dorothy Day. Although tending toward a secular understanding later he always held himself out as a fellow traveler of Catholicism. From Catholic activism he migrated to Democratic Socialism and helped to organize what has become the Democratic Socialists of America.

I was privileged to have had lunch with Michael within the year prior to his death when he visited a mutual friend in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A soft-spoken decidedly rational man we talked about progressive politics, homelessness and socialist humanism. It’s been a quarter-century since his death and he remains an influence on my politics and thought today.

Lawrence A Winans

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