The Public Interest

COMMENTS - What Is “Community Action”?

Daniel P. Moynihan

Fall 1966

Of the many programs of the Great Society, none began with wider approval or larger expectation than the war on poverty. It was, after all, the first major initiative of the new administration, an earnest of undiminished energies and continued determination to see through the era bravely begun a thousand days earlier. Now it is the first such program to become the object of controversy, conflict, and, in some measure, disappointment. This in itself would seem to be a familiar enough sequence in the course of human affairs. But there is something more involved here – something having to do with the way we rush into things, and possibly offering a caution for the future.

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