Synopses & Reviews
Sowell seeks to dispel the stereotypes associated with "black rednecks," claiming that their attempts to escape these typecasts are hampered by white liberals. He ventures further, questioning other ethnic stereotypes and the present practice of slavery.
"One of America's foremost black conservative intellectuals returns with this provocative collection of contrarian essays. Hoover Institution Fellow Sowell, author of Ethnic America, argues that 'internal' cultural habits of industriousness, thriftiness, family solidarity and reverence for education often play a greater role in the success of ethnic minorities than do civil-rights laws or majority prejudices. The title essay posits a 'black redneck' culture inherited from the white redneck culture of the South and characterized by violent machismo, shiftlessness and disdain for schooling. White liberals, gangsta-rap aficionados and others who lionize its ghetto remnants as an authentic black identity, Sowell contends, have their history wrong and help perpetuate cultural pathologies that hold blacks back. Sowell also examines the cultural achievements of such 'middleman minorities' as Jews and expatriate Chinese whose frequent persecution, he feels, represents an animus against capitalism. And he defends Western culture itself against charges that it was uniquely culpable for slavery; in fact, he contends, it was uniquely responsible for eradicating slavery. Many of Sowell's arguments-that the 20th-century resegregation of Northern cities was a response to the uncouthness of black rednecks migrating from the South, or that segregated black schools often succeeded by suppressing redneckism with civilized New England puritanism-will arouse controversy, but these vigorously argued essays present a stimulating challenge to the conventional wisdom." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Commentating on race and ethnicity, Sowell explores and seeks to dispel the stereotypes associated with "black rednecks" in the South, claiming that their attempts to escape these typecasts are hampered by white liberals. He ventures further in his book, questioning other ethnic stereotypes and analyzing the history and present practice of slavery.
Challenges dogma and dispels cliches that have long clung to topics involving race, ethnicity and culture.
This book presents the kind of eye-opening insights into the history and culture of race for which Sowell has become famous. As late as the 1940s and 1950s, he argues, poor Southern rednecks were regarded by Northern employers and law enforcement officials as lazy, lawless, and sexually immoral. This pattern was repeated by blacks with whom they shared a subculture in the South. Over the last half century poor whites and most blacks have moved up in class and affluence, but the ghetto remains filled with black rednecks. Their attempt to escape, Sowell shows, is hampered by their white liberal friends who turn dysfunctional black redneck culture into a sacrosanct symbol of racial identity. In addition to Black Rednecks and White Liberals, the book takes on subjects ranging from Are Jews Generic? to The Real History of Slavery.