Author: Will Jones

Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights.

“The Sanctity of Private Property”: The Civil Rights Act and the Limitations of American Liberalism

In marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, commenters frequently lamented the contrast between progress toward legal equality and the persistence of economic inequality today. “The decision to pursue purely legal change, and to leave economic relation- ships alone, says much about the intellectual and moral limitations of midcentury liberalism,” wrote journalist Clay Risen.

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