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Paperback The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass Book

ISBN: 1893554023

ISBN13: 9781893554023

The Dream and the Nightmare: The Sixties' Legacy to the Underclass

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Book Overview

Myron Magnet's The Dream and the Nightmare argues that the radical transformation of American culture that took place in the 1960s brought today's underclass-overwhelmingly urban, dismayingly minority-into existence. Lifestyle experimentation among the white middle class produced often catastrophic changes in attitudes toward marriage and parenting, the work ethic and dependency in those at the bottom of the social ladder, and closed down their exits...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This is a landmark work for the ages...and to you who object...

This book is one of the most articulate explanations for post-1960s socio-economic trends and the damage the cultural movement left in its wake. TO THOSE NEGATIVE REVIEWERS: I wonder if any of you even read the book. The depth at which Magnet covers the connection between the ideological shift of the "haves" and failed social policies is extensive. This book is not a party-based flag waver. It is an unbias, multi-dimensional study that should give any open-minded person something to ponder. It's time to realize that the "haves" in this country aren't just big conservative blood-thirsty corporations, but that the privileged in this country often reside in the secular entertainment industry and the halls of congress itself. If you don't read this book, just know this: we live in the most privileged society ever to exist in history, even with our shortcomings, and people can only find true compassion, and create true change, if they choose to see the real problems and destructive social codes facing our communities.

Not Only What Went Wrong, but How It Can Be Reversed

Myron Magnet's The Dream and the Nightmare is brilliant because it not only gives the statistics and endless accounts of what has gone wrong since the start of the United States' mid-20th century cultural revolution, but it also explains WHY those areas deteriorated (some have improved, obviously) and how they can be reversed. Along with Marvin Olasky, Myron Magnet is considered a foundational author of the compassionate conservatism philosophy that President Bush campaigned upon during the 2000 presidential election. This is Magnet's manifesto for that philosophy. In this book Mr. Magnet traces the roots of the radical shift that the privileged classes, the "Haves" as he labels them, enacted upon the culture of America and the entire Western world. He documents how in the middle 1900s these intellectuals, with a worldview based in Marxism and Freudianism, used America's universities and judiciaries to take hold of the system and transmogrify it to fit their causes, many which were originally well-meaning but ultimately, and tragically, misguided. The results of their success in turning America's previous culture on its head are seen throughout our society, but its effects have been far more pernicious to the impoverished, or, the "Have-nots." The change in crime, illiteracy, illegitimacy, income and many other telling rates from the American underclass began almost instantly and are now staggeringly depressing. Most of us have seen these numbers repeated ad infinitum, but this book will show you how and why these things happened in a way that many other social commentaries will not. This is a fantastic work that addresses a sad topic with an optimistic tone. It is one that all Americans should read and explain to their families and children as well.

An eye-opening treatise!

History and political science blend in this survey of the 1960s' legacy to modern times. Here Magnet argues that the radical events of the 1960s brought today's underclass and minorities into existence, producing changes in marriage and parenting which often led to dependency and closed doors for the underclass. An eye-opening treatise, The Dream and the Nightmare advocates a return to values honoring work, responsibility and law to help lift the barriers of poverty.

Why The World Is The Way It Is

I read the original edition of this book and it is still the most important social commentary I've ever read. For those who have ever asked, "Why is the world the way it is today?", this book will explain it. Magnet traces all of our current social problems- from crime to drug addiction, broken families to pregnant teenagers to school violence - to the liberal social experimentation of the Sixties and early Seventies, using pure a priori logic, not demagoguery.Additionally he shows how those once radical ideas have become our mainstream, unquestioned assumptions, the very Establishment itself; conservatives are now the radicals shaking up the system. Enormously enlightening for anyone who really wants to understand our current social predicaments.

This book deserves to be back in print

An excellent work identifying the New Left's underlying moral base as creating the culture of poverty that now characterizes North American inner cities, particularly those in the United States. Unlike similarly-conceived works, Magnet discusses the work of authors who oppose incarceration of mental patients. He also acknowledges some of the weaknesses of Charles Murray's seminal work on welfare, *Losing Ground*, as that book was indeed flawed in some respects. My only criticism is that he draws upon many of the sources that are familiar to those who read in this area, such as Dinesh D'Souza's *Illiberal Education* and Thomas Sowell's works, and so many of his examples are known to some readers. Nevertheless, the tragedy of Magnet's message is that most educated people are *not* reading fine works such as these, so the evasions about poverty and how it is created continue. One of the texts Magnet examines deserves special mention: "The White Negro", an essay! Norman Mailer had published in 1957. Mailer casually defends murder of shopkeepers by thugs, on the grounds that such an action attacks the institution of private property. Mailer should be made to pay for such irresponsibility; using Magnet's book as ammunition, those who want peace and freedom - not egalitarian attacks on the productive - to prevail in North America ought to make such writings of this "well-respected author" more widely-known. (Magnet also reveals that Elridge Cleaver defends black men that rape white women; how many feminists have condemned Cleaver for such views?)
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