On Understanding Poverty: Perspectives from the Social Sciences

– (editor) On Understanding Poverty: Perspectives from the Social Sciences , New York: Basic Books, 1969.
From Kirkus: This is the first of two volumes which emerged from a year long seminar on poverty sponsored by the National Academy of Arts & Sciences under Mr. Moynihan’s… More

Toward a National Urban Policy. New York: Basic Books

– (editor), Toward a National Urban Policy, New York: Basic Books, 1970.
Moynihan’s attempt to deal with the problems of the cities as they were developing in the late sixties. Also see the article published in The Public Interest here:… More

On Equality of Educational Opportunity

– Moynihan and Frederick Mosteller, On Equality of Educational Opportunity, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972.
In this volume are papers derived from the Harvard University Faculty Seminar on the Coleman Report. The Carnegie Corporation provided funds to support a faculty seminar for the academic… More

Coping: On the Practice of Government

Coping: On the Practice of Government, New York: Vintage Books, 1975.
Essays by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The central theme of each essay is how to frame the problems facing politicians correctly, how to identify what is really at stake.… More

Ethnicity: Theory and Experience

– Moynihan and Glazer, eds., Ethnicity: Theory and Experience, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.
From the publisher: This volume launches a far-reaching exploration into the meaning, manifestations, and significance of ethnicity in modern society and politics. The authors seek neither… More

A Dangerous Place

– Moynihan with Suzanne Weaver, A Dangerous Place, New York: Little Brown, 1978.
Excerpt: This volume, part journal and part commonplace book, seeks to describe certain ideas and events that contributed to the recent emergence of human rights as an issue of American… More

Counting Our Blessings: Reflections on the Future of America

Counting Our Blessings: Reflections on the Future of America, New York: Little Brown, 1980.
From Amazon: Moynihan served in the cabinet or subcabinet of four consecutive Presidents, as Ambassador to India, Professor of Government at Harvard University and as U.S. Senator from New… More


Loyalties, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
From the New York Times Review by Richard Bernstein: The mind of Daniel Patrick Moynihan has ranged so nimbly over so many subjects that the senior Senator of New York may well be the… More

Family and Nation: The Godkin Lectures

Family and Nation: The Godkin Lectures, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.
From Publishers Weekly: Moynihan first argued for a national family policy in 1965, and continues to press for it in these informed and persuasive lectures. Examining key factors shaping… More

Came the Revolution: Argument in the Reagan Era

Came the Revolution: Argument in the Reagan Era, New York: Harcourt, 1988.
From Publishers Weekly: A quarter-century of failed presidencies signifies that the institution itself is in a period of protracted crisis, asserts Moynihan, outspoken senator from New… More

On the Law of Nations

On the Law of Nations, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990.
From the publisher: Foreign Policy. “In the annals of forgetfulness there is nothing quite to compare with the fading from the American mind of the idea of the law of nations.” Grenada.… More

Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics

Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
From the publisher: Ten years before the Soviet Union collapsed, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stood almost alone in predicting its demise. As the intelligence community and cold war… More

Miles to Go: A Personal History of Social Policy

Miles to Go: A Personal History of Social Policy, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.
From the publisher: Has liberalism lost its way—or merely its voice? This book by one of the nation’s most insightful, articulate, and powerful Democrats at last breaks the silence that… More

Secrecy: The American Experience

Secrecy: The American Experience , New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
From the publisher: Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, chairman of the bipartisan Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, here presents an eloquent and fascinating account… More

The Future of the Family

– Moynihan, Timothy M. Sneeding, and Lee Rainwater, The Future of the Family, Russell Sage Foundation, 2006.
From the publisher: High rates of divorce, single-parenthood, and nonmarital cohabitation are forcing Americans to reexamine their definition of family. This evolving social reality… More


Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture

– "Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture," Government Services Administration, 1962.
Excerpt: In the course of its consideration of the general subject of Federal office space, the committee has given some thought to the need for a set of principles which will guide the… More

The Irish of New York

– "A Commentary Report: The Irish of New York," Commentary, August 1963.
Excerpt: It is now well over a century since any of the various groups living in New York has been able to claim so much as a bare majority of the populace; only the Jews today can claim… More

Poverty and Progress

– "Poverty and Progress," The American Scholar, Autumn 1964.
If there are no other victories whatever-and there will be-the war on poverty at least began with a notable advance for semantics. A nation that does dearly love nice things and soft words,… More

The Negro Family: The Case for National Action

– "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action," Department of Labor, March 1965.
Excerpt: The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations. In the decade that began with the school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court, and ended with the passage of… More

The Professionalization of Reform

– "The Professionalization of Reform," The Public Interest, Fall 1965.
Excerpt:  The passage above, as succinct a case for social planning as could be made, is not a product of either the thought or the institutions of the liberal-left. It is, rather, a… More

A Crisis of Confidence?

– "A Crisis of Confidence?" The Public Interest, Spring 1967.
Excerpt: The similarities between the War in Viet Nam and the War on Cities are instructive. We are now in the thirteenth or whatever year of the foreign involvement, and the third or… More

The President & The Negro: The Moment Lost

– "The President & The Negro: The Moment Lost," Commentary, February 1967.
Excerpt: For anyone with even a moderate concern for the sources of stability in American government, the results of the 1966 elections will appear on balance a good thing. The Republican… More

The Crises in Welfare

– "The Crises in Welfare," The Public Interest, Winter 1968.
Excerpt: In the course of the Second Session of the Ninetieth Congress, the House of Representatives by near-unanimous action approved what must surely be the first purposively punitive… More

The Professors and the Poor

– "The Professors and the Poor," Commentary, August 1968.
Excerpt: Not long ago, a Negro poverty worker from the Roxbury section of Boston came to see me at the Joint Center for Urban Studies, directed there by a liberal business executive who had… More

Toward a National Urban Policy

– "Toward a National Urban Policy," The Public Interest, Fall 1969.
Excerpt: In the spring of 1969, President Nixon met in the Cabinet room with ten mayors of American cities. They were nothing if not a variegated lot, mixing party, religion, race, region… More

Equalizing education: in whose benefit?

– "Equalizing education: in whose benefit?," The Public Interest, Fall 1972.
Excerpt: A series of recent state and federal court decisions, just now reaching the Supreme Court on appeal, have held that expenditure per pupil in public schools must be equal for all… More

“Peace”— some thoughts on the 1960’s and 1970’s

– "'Peace'— some thoughts on the 1960’s and 1970’s," The Public Interest, Summer 1973.
Excerpt: A DECADE ago most of the social scientists with whom I work, and whom I have been associated with, were profoundly distressed about the directions which American society seemed to… More

Was Woodrow Wilson Right?

– "Was Woodrow Wilson Right?" Commentary, May 1974.
Excerpt: It is fifty years, since Woodrow Wilson died, but it does not seem fifty years: more like two-hundred-fifty. We are uncomfortable with Wilson in the 20th century, he seems more the… More

On U.N. Resolution 3379, Equating Zionism with Racism

– "On U.N. Resolution 3379, Equating Zionism with Racism," Speech to the United States General Assembly, November 10, 1975.
Excerpt: There appears to have developed in the United Nations the practice for a number of countries to combine for the purpose of doing something outrageous, and thereafter, the… More

The United States in Opposition

– "The United States in Opposition," Commentary, March 1975.
Excerpt: “We are far from living in a single world community,” writes Edward Shils, “but the rudiments of a world society do exist.” Among those rudiments, perhaps the most… More

Commencement Address

– "Commencement Address," The Ohio State University, June 11, 1976.
Mine was the curious experience that having grown up wholly as a child of Manhattan I came of age knowing nothing of the fabled institutions of learning in the East, whilst feeling deeply… More

Imperial Government

– "Imperial Government," Commentary, June 1978.
Excerpt: The question of size and of effectiveness in American government is beginning to take on aspects of constitutional as against merely political debate. For the better part of a… More

Why Private Schools Merit Public Aid

– "Why Private Schools Merit Public Aid," The Washington Post, March 5, 1978.
Excerpt: In his message to Congress on elementary and secondary education in late February, President Carter observed that “private schools-particularly parochial schools — are an… More

On the Electoral College

– "Statement on the Electoral College," June 27, 1979.
Excerpt: Mr. President, I rise to speak briefly and for the first time in what I believe will be an extended debate on the matter before us, Senate Joint Resolution 28. I wish to address… More

What do you do when the Supreme Court is wrong?

– "What do you do when the Supreme Court is wrong?" The Public Interest, Fall 1979.
Excerpt: In its Spring Term of 1979, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Gannett v. DePasquale that the public does not have an independent constitutional right of access to a pretrial… More

Social science and the courts

– "Social science and the courts," The Public Interest, Winter 1979.
Excerpt: FROM the time, at the beginning of the century, that American legal scholars and jurists began to speak of the “science of law” it was rather to be assumed that the courts… More

Of ‘Sons’ and Their ‘Grandsons’

– "Of 'Sons' and Their 'Grandsons'," The New York Times, July 7, 1980.
Excerpt: WASHINGTON–Once upon a time, before the Coming of the New Deal, there was a group of Republican Senators who were not sound men on subjects such as the High Tariff. Their… More

The paranoid style in American politics revisited

– "The paranoid style in American politics revisited," The Public Interest, Fall 1985.
Excerpt: Of continuity and change. It happens I wrote the opening article in the first issue of The Public Interest, and there I am to be found, then as ever since, quoting Nathan Glazer.… More

The “New Science of Politics” and the Old Art of Government

– "'The New Science of Politics' and the Old Art of Government," The Public Interest, Winter 1987.
Excerpt: AS WE APPROACH the bicentennial of the Constitution, leafing through The Federalist, pondering the unexampled endurance of the arrangements the Founders put in place in those… More

The Modern Role of Congress in Foreign Affairs

– "The Modern Role of Congress in Foreign Affairs," Cardozo L. Rev. 9:1489, 1987-1988.
A century ago, in a letter to the committee responsible for the centennial celebration, the then British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone called the U.S. Constitution “the most… More

Half the Nation’s Children: Born Without a Fair Chance

– "Half the Nation's Children: Born Without a Fair Chance," The New York Times, September 25, 1988.
Excerpt: To talk about the condition of children is by definition to talk about the families in which they live. That is why we are going to have to learn to talk about two kinds of… More

Toward a post-industrial social policy

– "Toward a post-industrial social policy," The Public Interest, Summer 1989.
A QUARTER of a century has elapsed since I sat alongside Sargent Shriver in the hearing room of the House Committee on Education and Labor as he presented the opening testimony on what was… More

The Soviet Economy: Boy, Were We Wrong!

– "The Soviet Economy: Boy, Were We Wrong!" The Washington Post, July 11, 1990.
Excerpt: On July 1, East Germans lined up at some 15,000 special distribution centers around the country to exchange their old currency for brand new West German D-marks. There was much… More

Another War—the One on Poverty—Is Over, Too

– "Another War—the One on Poverty—Is Over, Too," The New York Times, July 16, 1990.
Excerpt: On June 6, another headline announced an end of sorts of another war: ”White House Spurns Expansion of Nation’s Anti-Poverty Efforts.”.

Do We Still Need the C.I.A.?; The State Dept. Can Do the Job

– "Do We Still Need the C.I.A.?; The State Dept. Can Do the Job," The New York Times, May 19, 1991.
Excerpt: The nomination of Robert M. Gates a career officer and sometime head of the Directorate of Intelligence of the C.I.A. — to be head of the agency comes at a moment when it is… More

Educational goals and political plans

– "Educational goals and political plans," The Public Interest, Winter 1991.
Excerpt: AMERICAN POLITICS has been notable for its lack of ideological structure. We have had our share and more of ideological movements, but these have typically begun outside the system… More

North Dakota, Math Country

– "North Dakota, Math Country," The New York Times, February 3, 1992.
Excerpt: In his State of the Union Message, the President reaffirmed his commitment to making our country “the world leader in education,” adding that to do so, “We must… More

How the Great Society “destroyed the American family”

– "How the Great Society 'destroyed the American family'," The Public Interest, Summer 1992.
Excerpt: THIS ELECTION YEAR will be the first in American history in which the issue of welfare dependency has been raised to the level of presidential politics. Not, that is, the issue of… More

Iatrogenic Government: Social Policy and Drug Research

– "Iatrogenic Government: Social Policy and Drug Research," The American Scholar, Summer 1993.
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1983, Armand M. Nicholi of the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School commented: When… More

Toward a new intolerance

– "Toward a new intolerance," The Public Interest, Summer 1993.
IT WILL BE fifty years ago this June that I graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem, in the company of State Senator Joe Galiber, and any number of prominent New… More

Defining Deviancy Down

– "Defining Deviancy Down," The American Scholar, Winter 1993.
Excerpt: In one of the founding texts of sociology, The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Emile Durkheim set it down that “crime is normal.” “It is,” he wrote,… More

Free Trade with an Unfree Society: A Commitment and its Consequences

– "Free Trade with an Unfree Society: A Commitment and its Consequences," The National Interest, Summer 1995.
In late January fo this year I went to the Senate floor to speak of U.S. relations with Mexico, in the context of the new North American Free Trade Agreement. My theme was one I had touched… More

The Devolution Revolution

– "The Devolution Revolution," The New York Times, August 6, 1995.
Excerpt: A considerable debate has commenced in the Senate, but it is not, as commonly portrayed, about welfare. The subject, rather, is the devolution — “causing to… More

The Professionalization of Reform II

– "The Professionalization of Reform II," The Public Interest, Fall 1995.
THIRTY years ago, in the first article of the first issue of The Public Interest, I published some observations on “The Professionalization of Reform,” which 30 years later can be read,… More

Social Security As We Knew It

– "Social Security As We Knew It," The New York Times, January 5, 1997.
Excerpt: Tomorrow, one year late, the Advisory Council on Social Security is scheduled to report on the finances of our national retirement system. More to the point, there will likely be… More

The culture of secrecy

– "The culture of secrecy," The Public Interest, Summer 1997.
Excerpt: IT is a half century since the foreign intelligence system of the United States was established by the National Security Act of 1947. It is 80 years since the Espionage Act of 1917… More

Data and Dogma in Public Policy

– "Data and Dogma in Public Policy," Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1999.
Abstract: Statistics play an important role in the affairs of state. The development over the last 70 years of national economic and product accounts, the creation in 1946 of a Council of… More

Building Wealth For Everyone

– "Building Wealth For Everyone," The New York Times, May 30, 2000.
Excerpt: Social insurance began in Europe, principally in Germany in the Bismarck era. In 1911, Winston Churchill carried unemployment insurance in the House of Commons, representing the… More

Ethnicity Now

– "Ethnicity Now," The Washington Post, September 16, 2001.


The Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy

– Lee Rainwater and William L. Yancey, The Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1967.
From the publisher: In March of 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then Assistant Secretary of Labor, wrote a report on the condition of the American Negro entitled The Negro Family: The Case… More

The Gentleman From New York by Godfrey Hodgson

– Godfrey Hodgson, The Gentleman From New York: Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Biography, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.
From the publisher: Coinciding with his departure from the United States Senate after twenty-four years of distinguished service, this major work is the first comprehensive account of the… More

A Beautiful Mind by George F. Will

– George F. Will, “A Beautiful Mind,” The Washington Post, March 27, 2003
Excerpt: Many of America’s largest public careers have been those of presidents. Many, but by no means all. Chief Justice John Marshall was more consequential than all but two… More

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

– Michael Barone, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2003.
Excerpt: America has never had anyone in public life with the blazing originality of mind of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Such originality cannot be entirely explained: It is the product of an… More

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life

– Robert A. Katzmann, ed. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: The Intellectual in Public Life, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.
From the publisher: One of the most distinguished figures in twentieth-century American politics, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was at the center of virtually every major political issue of his… More

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary

– Steven R. Weisman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary, New York: PublicAffairs, 2010.
From the publisher: When Daniel Patrick Moynihan died in 2003 the Economist described him as “a philosopher-politician-diplomat who two centuries earlier would not have been out of place… More

Freedom Is Not Enough by James Patterson

– James Patterson, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle over Black Family Life—from LBJ to Obama, New York: Basic Books, 2010.
From the publisher: On June 4, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson delivered what he and many others considered the greatest civil rights speech of his career. Proudly, Johnson hailed the new… More

The Professor and the President

– Stephen Hess, The Professor and the President: Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Nixon White House, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2014.
From the publisher: What happens when a conservative president makes a liberal professor from the Ivy League his top urban affairs adviser? The president is Richard Nixon, the professor is… More

American Burke by Greg Weiner

– Greg Weiner, American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, University Press of Kansas, 2015.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) may be best known as a statesman. He served in the administrations of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford; was ambassador to India and the… More


Public Assistance

– "Public Assistance," C-Span, 1987.
Senator Daniel Moynihan spoke about public assistance and personal responsibility. He answered questions from the audience.

Life and Career of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

– "Life and Career of Daniel Patrick Moynihan," American Profiles, 1987.
Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York reminisced about his ten years in the U.S. Senate, and described his early life and his career in politics. This interview was part of the American… More

Social Security Reform

– "Social Security Reform," C-Span, 2001.
Mr. Moynihan and Mr. Parsons spoke to reporters about a meeting of the Social Security Commission to discuss Social Security reform. Following their remarks they answered questions from the… More

Moynihan in the White House

– "Moynihan in the White House," Richard Nixon Foundation, 2010.
November 10, 2010: Panelists discuss the legacy of one of the most accomplished and admired statesmen of the past half-century, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Participants included Christopher… More

The Life of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

– "The Life of Daniel Patrick Moynihan," Inside Media, 2010.
The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan never wrote an autobiography, but a collection of his personal letters is now available in a new book by Steven R. Weissman who appears in this video.

Greg Weiner: Why Daniel Patrick Moynihan Matters

– "Greg Weiner: Why Daniel Patrick Moynihan Matters," Conversations with Bill Kristol, 30 Nov 2019.
Best known for his 24 years in the Senate, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927 – 2003) was a major figure in the political history of the United States in the second half of the twentieth… More