Daniel Geary (Trinity College Dublin) – Shortly after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Daniel Patrick Moynihan authored a government report titled The Negro Family: A Case for National Action that captured the attention of President Lyndon Johnson. The report’s central argument that poor families headed by single mothers inhibited African American progress touched off a heated controversy. The long-running dispute over Moynihan’s conclusions changed how Americans talk about race, the family, and poverty. Marking the 50th anniversary of the report’s publication, Daniel Geary’s talk will discuss this watershed moment in American history and the way it reveals the roots of current political divisions and the stakes of a public debate that has extended for decades.
Daniel Geary is Mark Pigott Lecturer in US History at Trinity College Dublin. A historian of American political, cultural and intellectual life since 1945, his research has focussed on the development of American ideas about race and ethnicity, and the history of the social sciences and their role in shaping public discourse and public policy. He is the author of Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought (University of California Press, 2009) and Beyond Civil Rights: The Moynihan Report and Its Legacy (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).
Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.