America, 1950s to the Present
Chapter 5: Charles Murray and the underclass
The leading figure in the US conservative movement has been Charles Murray, and this chapter describes his upbringing and background, including his early years in Thailand and the similarities between his views and those of an earlier conservative, Edward Banfield. Murray’s recruitment and rise to fame with the publication of his most famous book, Losing Ground (1984), is analysed. A detailed critique of the book is provided, together with an account of reactions by expert commentators. Murray’s sponsored visit to the UK is described, and then his continued maintenance of the idea of an ‘underclass’ against a background of its decline in public popularity.
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