We regret the loss of two valued contributors. Richard Cloward, for forty-seven years a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, was author of such influential books as Delinquency and Opportunity (with Lloyd E. Ohlin), Regulating the Poor and Why Americans Don’t Vote (with Frances Fox Piven). Displaying a rare ability to weld theory and practice into a seamless continuum, he was founder of Mobilization for Youth, a paradigm of federal antipoverty programs in the 1960s. He helped found the National Welfare Rights Organization, which mobilized poor people in behalf of welfare reform, and was founder and executive director of Human SERVE, a project to expand voter registration among the poor, which inspired the 1993 Motor Voter Act and established the principle of using government to facilitate rather than block people exercising their suffrage. Cloward was dedicated to transmuting cool scholarship into street heat. The following from Joel Rogers, professor of law and political science at the University of Wisconsin, provides a good summing up: “His biggest strength was simply his tenacity and quiet rage against the machine. In all his long years, he never lost the capacity to be astonished, and outraged, by cruelty and unnecessary barriers to freedom. At some level, he just couldn’t believe them. And then he’d go back to the hard work of removing them.” (John Nichols’s assessment of Richard Cloward appears on our website: www.thenation.com. A tribute to him will be held on September 20 in New York City. For further information see page 28.)
Nora Sayre was a witty, vivacious writer with a steel backbone who set herself to being a chronicler of her–and the left’s–times. In her books Sixties Going on Seventies, Previous Convictions: A Journey Through the 1950s and On the Wing, a memoir of literary London in the 1950s, she made the political personal, mingling a Boswell’s relish for anecdote with a shrewd sense of the zeitgeist. Her Running Time: Films of the Cold War is one of the best analyses of the impact of McCarthyism on Hollywood.