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Alarms and Hopes: A Personal Journey, A Personal View
Alarms and Hopes A Personal Journey A Personal View Author:Fred R. Harris "If I can come to see these things, anyone can." — With these beginning words, the young Senator from Oklahoma, from a rural family and a small town, clearly traces the path by which America has come to its present state of internal crisis - to riots in our cities - until, in his words, "we are teetering between a much more repressive society and... more » the chaos of anarchy."
Senator Harris is the only member of the Senate's McClellan Committee, which has investigated the riots, who is also a member of the President's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which President Johnson created, partly at his suggestion.
He has walked the streets of America's urban ghettos and visited the homes of its rural poor. In his book you hear the authentic words of the hopeless Negro, the apprehensive white, the despairing poor and the alienated young.
Protective myths and comfortable nostalgia are honestly examined. The critical choices we face are stated. And the actions which national crisis demands are set forth.
Beyond the outward view his official vantage points have provided, Senator Harris's book shows deep human insight, stated in language which compels understanding. Only from such understanding, he believes, can the nation and its leaders move with the urgency needed.
"We must open up society," he states, "and we cannot solve these problems 'on the cheap' or without change," and his book moves swiftly from a clear statement of the challenge to the clear challenge of solutions. Though it sets forth the present crisis in tones of unmistakable alarm, it is basically optimistic. It brings us to a moment of truth about ourselves and our society. And it points the way by which we may rise above the crisis and establish "a new self-image for America, a new sense of direction, and a new vision for the world."« less