Books Worth Reading

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CIVIL RIGHTS: RHETORIC OR REALITY

Thomas Sowell
1984
ISBN: 0-688-06269-5
Paperback
Published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, New York

It is now more than three decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education. Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at what has actually happened over these decades--as distinguished from the hope with which they began or the rhetoric with which they continue. Who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped?

-----from book jacket


EQUALITY TRANSFORMED: A QUARTER CENTURY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Herman Belz
1991, 1994
ISBN: 0-88738-882-5
Paperback
Published by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Can be ordered directly from the publisher at 908-445-2280

Herman Belz's Equality Transformed is by far the most thorough account of the tortured history of affirmative action in employment that has ever been written. It describes the roles of Congress, the Supreme Court, the executive and the enforcement agencies, the civil rights groups, and business in transforming a national commitment to developing what was color-blind nondiscrimination into a set of legal requirements that have made race and sex crucial elements in employment and promotion decisions. It will play a key role in all future discussion of affirmative action.

-----Nathan Glazer, Harvard University


NAKED RACIAL PREFERENCE: THE CASE AGAINST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Carl Cohen
1995
ISBN: 1-56833-053-7
Cloth
Published by Madison Books, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, Maryland 20706

In Naked Racial Preference, distinguished philosopher Carl Cohen makes a careful, thought-provoking argument against the set of race-related policies now known loosely as "affirmative action." He examines landmark court cases from the past twenty years that have addressed racial quotas and goals, admission to law and medical schools, employment, and set-asides--including the recent Adarand case. After weighing the arguments in support of race-based preferences, Cohen concludes that such preferences are nearly always unlawful. Moreover, he argues, race-based preferences are immoral, because they harm the institutions that use them and actually hurt the people and groups that they are designed to help. Cohen's treatment of this critical public policy issue never degenerates into a polemic. Rather, it is an elegant and balanced analysis that goes to the heart of how we define American justice and our national character.

-----from book jacket


TWO NATIONS: BLACK AND WHITE, SEPARATE, HOSTILE, UNEQUAL

Andrew Hacker
1992, 1995
ISBN: 0-345-39338-4
Paperback
Published by Ballantine Books, New York, New York

Mr. Hacker is a supporter of race and sex preferences. The primary value of his book lies in its presentation of a broad range of statistical data. Particularly valuable is his table at page 148 showing the average Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores for all those who took the exam in 1993, categorized by racial group and family income. This table shows that the average SAT score for students coming from homes with family incomes of $70,000 and over was 1082 for Asians, 1006 for whites, 918 for Hispanics and 871 for Blacks. This table also shows that the average SAT score for students coming from homes with family incomes of $10,000-20,000 was 860 for Asians, 874 for whites, 753 for Hispanics and 705 for Blacks.


BACKFIRE: A REPORTER'S LOOK AT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Robert Zelnick
1996
ISBN: 0-89526-455-2
Hardcover
Published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., 422 First Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20003; (202) 546-5005

As a veteran reporter of more than twenty-nine years, ABC-TV correspondent Bob Zelnick has won multiple awards for his scrupulous reporting. As a licensed attorney, he has been trained to examine both sides of every question with utmost thoroughness. As a lifelong supporter of civil rights, he has always sympathized with legislative efforts to promote racial equality.

Which is why, when Zelnick chose to take a close look at the increasingly contentious issue of affirmative action, he was surprised by the extent to which his most disturbing premonitions were realized.

In this urgently important book, Zelnick looks past the good intentions to how affirmative action really works in such areas as voting rights, employment, minority set-asides, mortgage and insurance regulation, and education. Buttressing his case with the latest research data and scores of real-life examples, Zelnick shows overwhelmingly that affirmative action:

  • favors the less qualified over the more qualified
  • endangers public safety in such areas as crime and fire prevention, and even medical care
  • has made it all but impossible for business and government to use objective merit selection criteria in hiring and promotion
  • brings few benefits to those most in need of help, and benefits mostly those who don't need it
  • distracts from-and even exacerbates-the real causes of misery among inner-city blacks
  • has developed powerful constituencies in business and government
  • has been broadened for political purposes to include beneficiaries who want relief but lack the historical claim of blacks
  • legitimizes negative stigmas about minorities and pandering to the darker instincts of racial animosity
  • as an ideology has proven immune to conclusive evidence that it is counterproductive

Zelnick traces how affirmative action was first sold as a short-term program designed to expand employer awareness of qualified minority job applicants, but instead has become a coercive network of race-conscious laws, regulations, quotas, preferences, and entitlement programs-in short, an assault on the very value of equality of opportunity it was supposed to promote.

Zelnick also shows how affirmative action is increasingly being challenged in the courts and political arena. He concludes with an in-depth, behind-the-scenes report on the affirmative action battles now raging in California, whose outcomes will have major consequences nationwide, and for years to come.

-----from book jacket


THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FRAUD: CAN WE RESTORE THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS VISION?

Clint Bolick
1996
ISBN: 1-882577-28-0 (pbk.)
Paperback
Published by Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001

"Clint Bolick makes an excellent case for the downfall of the civil rights establishment because of its preoccupation with group entitlements rather than individual justice. Bolick is absolutely on target when he says that the future of racial equality in America will come from a return to our principles of individual liberty and equal opportunity. All those interested in America's future should sit up and take notice of this book and its common-sense, free-enterprise solutions to the problems of economic inequalities faced by different groups in our society."

-----Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity and former Director, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights  


THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER: A NEW VISION OF RACE IN AMERICA

Shelby Steele
1990
ISBN: 0-312-05064-X
Hardcover
Published by St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010

In The Content of Our Character, award-winning writer Shelby Steele illuminates the origins of the current conflict in race relations today-the increase in anger, mistrust, and even violence between blacks and whites. In brilliant, moving prose Steel looks closely at his own life in an integrated society, and, in challenging his own preconceptions about race, causes us to rethink our own. With candid and persuasive arguments, he shows us how both black and white Americans have become trapped into seeing color before character, and how social policies and attitudes designed to lessen racial differences have instead made them greater.

-----from book jacket


THE NEW COLOR LINE

Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton, Jr.
1995
ISBN: 0895264625
Hardcover
Published by Regnery Publishing, Inc., 422 First Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20003; (202) 546-5005

"Roberts and Stratton provide a compelling expose, showing why affirmative action has degenerated into such a massively unpopular system of box-checking and bean-counting. We liberals will be embarrassed to learn how academic social engineers, unaccountable bureaucrats, and the courts perverted the principle of non-discrimination into an illiberal system of preferences and diversity quotas. The New Color Line is required reading for anyone running for political office in 1996."

-----Charles Geshekter, Professor of History, California State University

"Roberts' and Stratton's description and analysis in The New Color Line of how affirmative action, which was supposed to help integrate America racially, has become a divisive, segregationist policy, is superb."

-----Irving Kristol, Co-Editor, The Public Interest 


THE END OF RACISM

Dinesh D' Souza
1995
ISBN: 0-02-908102-5
Paperback
Published by The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

In this daring and highly provacative exploration of the history, nature, and ultimate meaning of racism, bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza challenges deeply held orthodoxies about race and racism in America. Was slavery a racist institution? Is America a racist society? Is Eurocentrism a racist concept? Can African Americans be racist? Transcending accepted boundaries of racial discourse, D'Souza argues that the liberal crusade against racism is detrimental to both blacks and whites, and that our next step must be to eliminate race as the basis for identity and public policy. He offers essential guidelines for achieving the ultimate goal of a harmonious multiracial society.

-----from book jacket

"The most thorough, intelligent, and well-informed presentation of the case against liberal race policies that has yet appeared."

-----George M. Fredrickson, The New York Review of Books

"Not since Gunnar Myrdal's classic An American Dilemma just over half a century ago has any book looked so searchingly at the role of race in American society as The End of Racism. This is a heartbreaking book, because the truth is heartbreaking. . . . It is must reading."

-----Thomas Sowell, Forbes 


THE DIVERSITY MACHINE: THE DRIVE TO CHALLENGE THE "WHITE MALE WORKPLACE"

Frederick R. Lynch
1997
ISBN: 0-684-82283--0
Hardcover
Published by The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1230, Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

"If we finally emerge from the nightmare of racist policies implemented under the euphemisms 'affirmative action' and 'diversity,' Fred Lynch will deserve part of the credit. His latest book is in large part a series of hands-on case studies of the operations and effects of the 'diversity machine'--the movement to extirpate 'white male [i.e., Western capitalist] culture'--in the workplace, university, and other contexts. The movement's premises are that the absence of proportional representation by race and sex in any institution is an indication of bias, that all cultures (or 'live-styles') are equally valuable, and that race and sex essentially determine what a person is, including his or her political opinions. Lynch convincingly shows that as the premises are false, the consequences are generally pernicious."

-----Lino Graglia, University of Texas School of Law


AMERICA IN BLACK AND WHITE: ONE NATION, INDIVISIBLE

Stephan Thernstrom, Abigail Thernstrom
1999
ISBN: 0-684-84497-4
Paperback
Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1230, Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

America in Black and White is a wide-reaching survey of race relations in America over the past fifty years. Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom present important new information about the positive changes that have been achieved and the measurable improvement in the lives of the majority of African-Americans. Supporting their conclusions with statistics on education, earnings and housing, they argue that the perception of serious racial divisions in this country is outdated--and dangerous.

-----from book jacket