Moynihan Revisited: A Reading List

daniel patrick moynihan

This month’s cover story in the Atlantic is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” This provocative look at the effects of mass incarceration on the African American community and Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous report that helped create this situation has sparked an heated dialogue on the internet. I’m studying for comps right now, but I’m definitely going to have to set sometime to read as much as I can later. Here’s a list, starting with the Moynihan report itself:

“The Moynihan Report: An Annotated Edition”

“The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“A Note on the Moynihan Report, Black Women and ‘Urbanology'” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Moynihan Between the Lines” by Chris Bodenner

“‘A Troubled Past’ and the Meanings of Breaking the Law” by Christopher Bonner

“Carceral State: Robert Chase on the Prisoners’ Rights Movement” by Robert T. Chase

“Ta-Nehisi Coates Outlines Path to Mass Incarceration in ‘The Atlantic'” by NPR’s Audie Cornish

“The Other Half of the Moynihan Report” by The Atlantic

“Ta-Nehisi Coates: ‘For African Americans, unfreedom is the historical norm” by Ezra Klein

“What Incarceration Costs American Families” by Alana Semuels

“A Call for Hope in the Age of Mass Incarceration” by Thabiti Anyabwile

“The Moynihan Report Revisited” by Gregory Acs, Kenneth Braswell, Elaine Sorensen, and Margery Austin Turner

“Never Marry Again in Slavery” an introduction to “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Before He Was America’s Wacky Uncle, Joe Biden Was a Tough-on-Crime Hardliner” by Patrick Caldwell

“Want to end mass incarceration? Stop blindly reelecting your local prosecutor” by German Lopez

“The Wisdom of Pat Moynihan” by George Will

“Moynihan’s Inconvenient Truths” by New York Daily News

“Opinion: Black Families Matter-What Bratton (and Moynihan) Don’t Get” by David E. Kirkland

Mass incarceration is about way more than the war on drugs” by German Lopez






Allan Branstiter is a writer and Ph.D. student studying U.S. History at the University of Southern Mississippi. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, he is writing a dissertation examining the experiences of Civil War veterans in the American West. He is a veteran of the Iraq War and a former candidate for the North Dakota State Senate.

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