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When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America


When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America Cover

ISBN13: 9780393328516
ISBN10: 0393328511
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this "penetrating new analysis" () Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms designed by Southern Democrats that specifically excluded maids and farm workers, the gap between blacks and whites actually widened despite postwar prosperity. In the words of noted historian Eric Foner, "Katznelson's incisive book should change the terms of debate about affirmative action, and about the last seventy years of American history."


A groundbreaking work that exposes the twisted origins of affirmative action.

About the Author

Ira Katznelsonis the Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University and chair of the Russell Sage Foundation"s board of trustees.  A student of American political development in comparative and international perspective, his publications include City Trenches: Urban Politics and the Patterning of Class in the United Statesand Liberalism"s Crooked Circle: Letters to Adam Michnik.  He is completing a book on the New Deal, the South, and the shaping of postwar liberalism in the United States.

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elmont, January 27, 2010 (view all comments by elmont)
No one should pretend to rationally discuss the wedge issue of affirmative action without reading this important and apparently little-known book. I always thought that my success (limited as it may be) was entirely the result of my own merits. I never realized that even I, from a lower middle class background, had a leg up on my black brethren because of previous government policies that favored whites either directly or in practice. Then I read this book. You should too.
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Product Details

Katznelson, Ira
W. W. Norton & Company
Katznelson, IRA
United States - 20th Century
Discrimination & Racism
Race relations
African Americans - Civil rights - History -
United States Race relations.
US History - 20th Century
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.22x5.50x.69 in. .54 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Reference » Bibliography and Library Science

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393328516 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A groundbreaking work that exposes the twisted origins of affirmative action.
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