THE FIFTEENTH WARD AND THE GREAT SOCIETY by William Lee Miller

THE FIFTEENTH WARD AND THE GREAT SOCIETY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

W. L. Miller, ""professor of ethics who...ventured into politics,"" is now serving his second term as Democratic Alderman from New Haven's Fifteenth Ward. ""The Great Society,"" he irrefutably declared, ""is largely to be a City Society, and the leaders of it, mayors."" His admiration for his own Mayor, Richard C. Lee, is unbounded, and he devotes many chapters to Lee's vigorous handling of local matters of urban renewal, FEPC, and the war on poverty. Miller, an avowed post- Depression, or Kennedy-style, liberal, believes the future lies with the permanent positive purposes of reform, not just throwing the rascals out: ""There can now be far more to city government than the corruption-honesty question,"" he says, for we are in ""...the creative period in American domestic politics."" There are all too few modern books on city politics and city government, and Miller, even in the midst of his review of three years of New Haven history, speaks realistically of charter changes, reapportionment, and plans and prognostications for the future. Like many another liberal, however, he is still rancorously titling at the bugaboos of the 1964 Presidential campaign, particularly in the field of civil rights. Miller himself is not unintelligent, and he professes to support the two-party system, so it is uninspiring to find him lumping all the Goldwater supporters into ""the unintelligent right."" He does not say how this outlook jibes with his concern for broadening citizen participation in politics perse and this is perhaps the most obvious failing of his book.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1966
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin