Monday September 1st, 2014, 2:45 pm (EDT)

A Freedom Budget for All Americans "Essential" CHOICE Review

A Freedom Budget for All Americans

The following review appeared in the March 2014 issue of CHOICE:

A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today

by Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates

In fall 1966, not long after the 1963 March on Washington, the A. Philip Randolph Institute issued “A Freedom Budget for All Americans,” which went well beyond Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty and well beyond a call for civil rights for blacks. The Freedom Budget instead laid out an expansive Marshall Plan for the disadvantaged. Le Blanc (history, La Roche College) and Yates (associate editor, Monthly Review) do an outstanding job of recapturing the development, as well as the social and political context, of this mostly forgotten chapter of American history. The stories ofthe movement’s leading figures take this book even further in bringing the account of the Freedom Budget back to life. The authors use this historical analysis to frame a valuable overview of current social and economic deficiencies of the contemporary US, making a convincing case that the time has come to resurrect the promise of a renewed Freedom Budget. Such a project risks falling into a formulaic treatment, but this book does nothing of the kind. Instead, it is perceptive as well as lively, accessible to typical undergraduates yet valuable for specialists in the subject. This inexpensive book is a must for virtually any library. Summing Up: Essential. All collections and readership levels. — M Perelman, California State University, Chico