Synopses & Reviews
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 fresh, highly readable, first-rate history of public policy that gives us new insights and arguments for addressing . . . undemocratic gaps of income and wealth." Sanford D Horowitt
Katznelson’s explosive analysis provides us with a new and painful understanding of how politics and race intersect. --Henry Louis Gates Jr
"Katznelson's explosive analysis provides us with a new and painful understanding of how politics and race intersect." David Oshinsky The Nation
"A fresh, highly readable, first-rate history." Sanford D Horowitt
"A penetrating new analysis." San Francisco Chronicle
"Ira Katznelson has made a major contribution to the affirmative action debate.... [His] book makes as strong a case as I have ever seen for vigorous action to bring about equal opportunities for African-Americans." Nick Kotz New York Times Book Review
"A gem of a book." George M. Frederickson New York Review of Books
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.