'Nation' Notes | The Nation


'Nation' Notes

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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.

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