Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) did not just live in the twentieth century, he strode across it: a colossus of ideas and a man of deeds. He was a seminal public intellectual and sociologist, policy specialist, ambassador and long serving senator. Moynihan was a moralist in a political world where morality – the urge to do good – is often overcome by the desire to do well.
Over the years, Moynihan’s work has frequently been misinterpreted by political partisans. In Moynihan, figures including Ta-Nehisi Coates and Henry Kissinger – give insight into this “connoisseur of statistics” who served four presidents. The film offers a timely perspective on today’s debates over issues that Moynihan began tackling 50 years ago.