Synopses & Reviews
This explosive new book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted. In a series of long essays, this book presents an in-depth look at key beliefs behind many mistaken and dangerous actions, policies, and trends. It presents eye-opening insights into the historical development of the ghetto culture that is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity--a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves "friends" of blacks. An essay titled "The Real History of Slavery" presents a jolting re-examination of that tragic institution and the narrow and distorted way it is too often seen today. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and of other groups like them in countries around the world, are explored in an essay that asks, "Are Jews Generic?" Misconceptions of German history in general, and of the Nazi era in particular, are also re-examined. So too are the inspiring achievements and painful tragedies of black education in the United States. "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell.
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.
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.