This book is about the politics of race and poverty in America. It tells the story of the North Carolina Fund, a pioneer effort to improve the lives of the “neglected and forgotten” poor in a nation that celebrated itself as an affluent society. Governor Terry Sanford created the Fund in 1963, at a time when the United States stood at a crossroads. A decade of civil rights activism had challenged the country to fulfill its promise of equality and opportunity. Not since the Civil War and Reconstruction had reformers raised such fundamental questions about the political and social foundations of the republic. It was, however, by no means clear how Americans would answer. Alabama governor George C. Wallace spoke for one possibility.
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