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Intellectuals and Race

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Intellectuals and Race Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Intellectuals and Race is a radical book in the original sense of one that goes to the root of the problem. The role of intellectuals in racial strife is explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light.

The views of individual intellectuals have spanned the spectrum, but the views of intellectuals as a whole have tended to cluster. Indeed, these views have clustered at one end of the spectrum in the early twentieth century and then clustered at the opposite end of the spectrum in the late twentieth century. Moreover, these radically different views of race in these two eras were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were very similar in both eras.

Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, economic and statistical evidence-- all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially intellectuals at the highest levels. Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. The impact of intellectuals' ideas and crusades on the larger society, both past and present, is the ultimate concern. These ideas and crusades have ranged widely from racial theories of intelligence to eugenics to "social justice" and multiculturalism.

In addition to in-depth examinations of these and other issues, Intellectuals and Race explores the incentives, the visions and the rationales that drive intellectuals at the highest levels to conclusions that have often turned out to be counterproductive and even disastrous, not only for particular racial or ethnic groups, but for societies as a whole.

Synopsis:

Americans believe strongly in the socially transformative power of education, and the idea that we can challenge racial injustice by reducing white prejudice has long been a core component of this faith. How did we get here? In this first-rate intellectual history, Leah N. Gordon jumps into this and other big questions about race, power, and social justice.

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; To answer these questions, From Power to Prejudice examines American academiaand#151;both black and whiteand#151;in the 1940s and and#8217;50s. Gordon presents four competing visions of and#160;and#147;the race problemand#8221; and documents how an individualistic paradigm, which presented white attitudes as the source of racial injustice, gained traction. A number of factors, Gordon shows, explain racial individualismand#8217;s postwar influence: individuals were easier to measure than social forces; psychology was well funded; studying political economy was difficult amid McCarthyism; and individualism was useful in legal attacks on segregation. Highlighting vigorous midcentury debate over the meanings of racial justice and equality, From Power to Prejudice reveals how one particular vision of social justice won out among many contenders.

About the Author

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other academic institutions. He is the author of Intellectuals and Society, Dismantling America, Economic Facts and Fallacies, and the classic Basic Economics, which has been translated into six languages. Sowell has published in both academic journals and in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, and Fortune, and he writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country. He lives in Stanford, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465058723
Author:
Sowell, Thomas
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Author:
Gordon, Leah N.
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Ethnic Studies-Immigration
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 halftones
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Black Studies (Global)
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Intellectuals and Race Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Basic Books (AZ) - English 9780465058723 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Americans believe strongly in the socially transformative power of education, and the idea that we can challenge racial injustice by reducing white prejudice has long been a core component of this faith. How did we get here? In this first-rate intellectual history, Leah N. Gordon jumps into this and other big questions about race, power, and social justice.

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; To answer these questions, From Power to Prejudice examines American academiaand#151;both black and whiteand#151;in the 1940s and and#8217;50s. Gordon presents four competing visions of and#160;and#147;the race problemand#8221; and documents how an individualistic paradigm, which presented white attitudes as the source of racial injustice, gained traction. A number of factors, Gordon shows, explain racial individualismand#8217;s postwar influence: individuals were easier to measure than social forces; psychology was well funded; studying political economy was difficult amid McCarthyism; and individualism was useful in legal attacks on segregation. Highlighting vigorous midcentury debate over the meanings of racial justice and equality, From Power to Prejudice reveals how one particular vision of social justice won out among many contenders.

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