Synopses & Reviews
Turning Back traces social science writing on race relations over the past half-century. Beginning with Gunnar Myrdal's classic, An American Dilemma, Stephen Steinberg shows how mainstream social science placed a liberal gloss on racism and failed to champion civil rights. Not until the racial crisis of the 1960s was there a willingness to confront racism "in all of its hideous fullness", and to place responsibility for the nation's racial problems on major political and economic institutions. During the post-Civil Rights era the focus of blame has again shifted away from societal institutions onto blacks themselves. Turning Back is a trenchant critique of this "scholarship of backlash". Steinberg challenges liberals as well as conservatives, blacks as well as whites, who have fueled the backlash and provided a spurious intellectual cover for gutting affirmative action and other policies designed to alleviate racial inequalities.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-265) and index.