The following guest post is by Louis F. Cooper, longtime reader and commenter who contributed to the blog’s Roundtable on U.S. Foreign Policy and the Left in 2014.
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Michael Harrington’s The Vast Majority: A Journey to the World’s Poor (Simon and Schuster, 1977). The leading American democratic socialist of his time, Harrington (1928-1989) is best known for his 1962 book The Other America, which drew renewed attention to poverty in the United States and argued eloquently for a “comprehensive” assault on it.  In The Vast Majority, Harrington joined the debate about the Third World (or the global South, as we now say) and the issues of global poverty and inequality. Despite having become dated in some ways, The Vast Majority still bears reading. Among other things, the book is notable for its candor: it admitted the complexities of the problems, their resistance to easy solutions, and insisted nonetheless that steps toward a more just global order were both possible and morally necessary. Continue reading