Published fifty years ago, Michael Harrington’s The Other America provided a sweeping description of poverty in the United States. Harrington is given credit for awakening the nation to the plight of the poor and forwarding the idea that the federal government should become heavily involved in trying to help. His book is routinely hailed as one of the most influential of the twentieth century.
Published fifty years later, Charles Murray’s Coming Apart is also destined to be a classic. Building on his previous work, Murray brings attention to the plight of the lower classes—in particular, frequently dysfunctional choices in an increasingly bifurcated world.
D. Eric Schansberg, "Review Essay: 'The Other America' Is 'Coming Apart'", Journal of Markets and Morality 16, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 239-248