Collection of Reviews and Titles
Whitey and Other Progressive Causes (Sept. 1999)
By David Horowitz (Spence Pub; ISBN: 189062621X)
Available in hardcover from Amazon.Com for $24.95
"The title reflects a major theme of the book, the 'anti-white racism' that Mr.
Horowitz says has 'become a common currency of the 'progressive' intelligentsia.'
"'Whites are the only group that there's a license to hate in America today, says Mr.
Horowitz. 'I wanted people to be confronted by their hypocrisy.'
"'The point of 'Hating Whitey' is that 'ideological hatred of whites is now an
expanding industry,' embracing not only the anti-white rhetoric of black 'racist
demagogues like Louis Farrakhan,' Mr. Horowitz writes, 'but also white liberals, such as
Harvard lecturer Noel Ignatiev, who has proclaimed the need to 'abolish the white race by
any means necessary.'
"White liberals help incite this hatred, Mr. Horowitz says, giving as an example the
eagerness of politicians such as first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Democratic
presidential hopeful Bill Bradley to 'go kiss the ring of [New York black activist] Al
Sharpton, a foul-mouthed racist.'" (From the Washington Times 10/08/99 page A2 by
Robert Stacy McCain.)
According to a review published on Amazon.Com, "Despite the intrusiveness of his ego,
Horowitz writes engagingly about contentious issues, particularly the politics of race.
Specifically, he objects to the way in which blacks are given carte blanche to indulge in
reverse racism, a tendency that Horowitz traces in part to affirmative action and the
contemporary mania to stake out the role of the victim. In a highly polemical style,
Horowitz argues that Americans, particularly black Americans, have lost sight of the
color-blind society envisioned by Dr. King." (Quoted from review by Kirkus
Also, read the introductory chapter of Hating Whitey, Introduction: Memories in Memphis
by David Horowitz.
Purchase "Hating Whitey" at the
to purchase 'Hating Whitey' by David Horowitz]
A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of
Black Freedom in America
By Shelby Steele (HarperCollins, 185 pages)
"Shelby Steele's "A Dream Deferred" is essentially a harder-edged and more
theoretical exploration of the ideas in his groundbreaking first book, "The Content
of Our Character" (1990).
"Steele's recurring theme has been to unmask the dubious motivations behind the
race-conscious remedies embraced by white liberals and blacks. For Steele, '60s
liberalism's "first and all-consuming goal was the expiation of American shame rather
than the careful and true development of equity between the races."
Steele shoots down all policies and attitudes that emphasize race. Even affirmative
race consciousness simply reverses and repeats the sins of racism, he argues: It locks
whites into a position of guilty superiority (guilty, since their final redemption is
forever withheld by power-mongering blacks; superior, since black uplift is made to depend
on white largesse) and holds back blacks by forcing them to invest in their own
victimization. It allows both races to avoid doing the hard work of actual uplift, which
Steele insists can only come from the traditional American middle-class virtues:
individual effort, education, self-improvement. (He points out that those areas where
blacks have been most successful, such as music and athletics, are precisely those in
which there are no interventions.)
"... Steele, now a research fellow at Stanford University's conservative Hoover
Institution, takes things one important step further in his new book: He argues that
all top-down social interventions that aim at moral improvement, not just race-conscious
remedies, are destructive. "When redemptive liberals make interventions the agents of
change over people, they avail themselves of one of the most popular formulas for power in
the twentieth century," he writes, comparing America's embrace of redemptive racial
politics to post-World War I Germany's embrace of Aryan supremacy and turn-of-the-century
Russia's attempt to create a classless society." (Review excerpted from
House: America's Unfinished Struggle for Integration
By Tamar Jacoby (The Free Press, 614 pages)
"If Shelby Steels "A Dream Deferred" (above) is a theoretical attack
on orthodox racial thinking, Tamar Jacoby's "Somebody Else's House" is
resolutely historical. Jacoby, a former New York Times reporter who now works with the
centrist Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, examines the racial history of three
cities -- New York, Detroit and Atlanta -- in an attempt to find out why the high
integrationist hopes of the civil rights movement were dashed. Her detailed history, based
largely on newspaper and magazine accounts and extensive interviews, is an incisive, if
dispiriting, portrait of the consequences of the collision of black militancy with white
"Jacoby draws different morals from each of the three cities she studies. New York in
the idealistic Lindsay years, with its divisive fight over school decentralization,
represents "a lesson in the limits of goodwill and sixties-style top-down
engineering." Detroit, where bitter racial divisions, a long battle over busing and
the combative posturing of Mayor Coleman Young all contributed to white flight and black
rage, "is a study in the consequences of choosing against integration." And
Atlanta, which despite apparent progress remains profoundly separated along racial lines,
poses the question "Is real integration possible in America today?"
"But if the lessons are different, the mistakes Jacoby believes were made were the
same. The same pattern unfolds again and again: a failure of leadership, both by
well-meaning but misguided whites and demagogic blacks. White leaders, anxious to achieve
immediate racial progress in the wake of riots and widening racial tension, handed a blank
check to the black community. But the only leaders who stepped forward were militants, who
were often more interested in racial posturing and amassing racial spoils than in working
together with whites to solve the black community's problems from the bottom up. These
angry -- often conveniently angry -- exponents of Black Pride, Jacoby argues, didn't
really represent the feelings of the majority of blacks, but their willingness to stand up
to the white man made them attractive, especially since "constructive, gradualist
leaders were in short supply." So the Al Sharptons and the Malcolm Xs knocked out the
Bayard Rustins and Martin Luther Kings, and set-asides and busing were enshrined as
morally untouchable policies.
"When whites protested these [race-based] policies, they were accused of
racism. Imtimated and increasingly resentufl, they literally and figuratively
withdrew, leaving -- in the case of Detroit -- the virtually all-black inner city to
wither away. Race relations, poisoned by mutual mistrust and irresponsible leaders,
never recovered." (Review excerpted from Salon.Com)
The Shape of the River by former Princeton and Harvard presidents William G.
Bowen and Derek Bok. This newest and most seriously flawed defense of racial
preferences in college admissions has been hailed (falsely) by The New York Times as
"striking confirmation of the success of affirmative action." A host of similar
op-eds and reviews have followed suit, praising the book both for its flawed scholarship
and for its baseless defense of affirmative action. It is no surprise that Bill
Clinton's racial-quota enforcer, Bill Lann Lee, gave a public speech in Nov. 1998
unabashedly supporting the erroneous conclusions of this book. Few reviewers,
however, have actually subjected the book's claims or methodology to serious, critical
examination. The Center for Equal Opportunity provides a critical analysis of this
book's mis-use of statistics at http://www.ceousa.org/bok.html
Stories and Links:
|Another Bend in "The Shape
of the River", by Stephen Thernstrom (dead link)
"Note that all of these
figures for blacks are averages that include those who would have been admitted under
race-neutral standards. Throughout "The Shape of the River," the authors lump
together black students with outstanding academic qualifications with those whose
admission was the result of the big break given to non-Asian minority applicants. Alas,
Bowen and Bok do not calculate the graduation rate for the latter group, but it was surely
much lower than that for the former." (Washington Post, Monday,
December 14, 1998; Page A23)
|Critique of 'Shape of the River'
by Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity (dead link)
"The central criticism, not
mentioned by Mr. Glazer, is that it is unfair to individuals and wrong for a society to
classify people and treat them differently according to skin color.) In any event, the
Bowen and Bok book concedes that black students do much worse than white students who are
admitted to highly selective colleges, averaging in the 23rd percentile for class rank.
What saves the black students is that it is hard for anyone to flunk out once he or she
gets in." (Washington Post, p. A28, 12/21/98)
The Shape of the Potemkin
Village by James C. Higgins 01/29/99
"I cannot improve upon the
summary of Derek Bok and William Bowen's The Shape of the River that author Thomas Sowell
gave in a recent speech: "This book says that people who benefit from programs
benefit from programs."
"Bok and Bowen, respectively the former presidents of Harvard and Princeton, present
a detailed and seemingly objective look at the effect of racial-preference programs at a
group of elite colleges. Their aim is to establish that race preferences are a good thing
because the preference programs administered at their universities (and similar
institutions) have had many salutary effects for the minorities who were admitted.
"But in doing so, they present a Potemkin village: Some of what they say is true
about the effects of the preference programs at the 28 elite colleges and universities
they study. But the overall misleading impression they leave is the product of a dexterous
sleight of hand.
"Spinning the facts -- Here is an example of Bok and Bowen at work: They dispute the
observation by Sowell, as well as the one made in America in Black and White by authors
Stephan and Abagail Thernstrom and others, that admitting one group of students based on
lower standards will cause a lack of "fit." In other words, that those admitted
on the lower standards would, in fact, be better off if they attended colleges where their
skills resemble those of the majority." (IntellectualCapital.Com, 01/29/99, by
James C. Higgins)
American in Black and White: One Nation
Indivisible, by Stephan
Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom. Simon & Schuster, 639 pages, $30.
This book represents a significant
study by husband-and-wife team Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. Both have previously
written much on this subject, independently and jointly. Stephen is a history professor at
Harvard, and Abigail is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
The Thernstroms are strongly opposed to racial quotas, racial
hiring goals, racial preferences and government race-based contracting set-asides. And
they use their considerable intellects to gather accurate, current information to
graphically illustrate why these programs dont work.
"Marshaling an impressive array of well-footnoted facts, poll data, and census
statistics (they even have encouraging figures about how often blacks and whites dine
together in each other's houses), the Thernstroms demonstrate that blacks made
considerably more economic and political progress before affirmative action became
wide-spread, in the late '60s and early '70s, than they've made since."
[ For the complete review by Scott Stossel, visit http://www.phx.com/archive/books/97/09/25/BLACK_AND_WHITE.html
The California Cauldron, by Wm. A.V. Clark (UCLA Professor)
"In one disturbing section after another, Clark describes how California's cities and
towns have been inundated by one of the greatest waves of immigration in human history and
how no one--particularly the immigrants themselves--has been spared by the result. Some of
Clark's statistics will seem familiar, but they bear repeating. Since 1980, 5 million
foreign newcomers have arrived in California, joining the 25 million already here. The mix
of newcomers is astounding, from Vietnamese to Ukrainians, and entire cities have switched
their racial compositions in less than a generation.
"Within California, startling differences emerge. Currently, for example, 41% of all
California immigrants wind up in Los Angeles County. One ZIP Code in Glendale, 91205, has
absorbed 16,000 immigrants since 1980, and another ZIP Code in San Francisco has absorbed
25,000. Meanwhile, the state's best-known ZIP Code in Beverly Hills, 90210, has absorbed
"All of this makes California the great exception when it comes to the costs and
benefits of immigration, Clark writes. At the national level, he contends, new immigrants
have probably produced a plus for the economy. But in Los Angeles County and other
heavy-influx areas, they have produced a large deficit. The federal government, after all,
receives the lion's share of revenue from immigrants through income taxes but pays only a
small portion of their education and medical care costs." (LA Times, 02/14/99,
by Roberta A. Jones)
The Color of Politics: Race, Class, and
the Mainsprings of American Politics, by Michael Goldfield. New Press, 400 pages, $19.95.
"Michael Goldfield's The Color
of Politics: Race, Class, and the Mainsprings of American Politics argues that the central
feature of American political history in this century has been the ongoing -- and largely
unsuccessful -- attempt to work out the unresolved contradictions of the Civil War and
"The Color of Politics is honorably motivated,
unapologetically left-wing -- and a terrible muddle. Haphazard, repetitive, and at times
clumsily written, the book is too densely theoretical to appeal to many nonacademics but
too cursory to be of much use to academics. Goldfield, who is a professor of labor studies
at Wayne State University, draws too many oversimplified parallels between the pre-Civil
War era and today (likening black youth unemployment to slavery, for example, and the
Rodney King beating to lynchings). And many of the explanations for white racism that
Goldfield surveys are either over-familiar or unconvincing."
[ For the complete review by Scott Stossel, visit http://www.phx.com/archive/books/97/09/25/BLACK_AND_WHITE.html
The Diversity Hoax: Law Students Report from
Berkeley, by David Wienir, Marc
Berley [Paperback - 194 pages (April 1999) Foundation for Academic Standards &
Tradition; ISBN: 0966994000]
One reader wrote: "How many Asians currently play in the NBA? Are they
under-represented? If so, why is this tolerated, and what must WE do to remedy this
"These absurd questions are
not so absurd, at least according to the Leftist PC-police who rule the roost at Boalt
Hall (UC Berkeleys prestigious law school). A straightforward, powerful,
often-disturbing collection of essays by Boalt students, "The Diversity Hoax"
questions the self-serving notions of "diversity," "minority," and
"racism" from the ultra-liberal perspective. Readers lucky enough to pick up
this volume are left with little doubt that far too many students--and far too many
educators and administrators--at Boalt view any opinion or individual outside of their
narrow view of "tolerance" with extreme intolerance.
"Why does Boalts
definition of "diversity" refer only to racial diversity? Why do Boalt
professors and administrators turn a deaf ear and a blind eye in the face of blatant
personal attacks on those who have the audacity to express themselves from
anything but a ultra-liberal perspective? Why is the eternal message of Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. ignored by those who hold his words most sacred?"
[ for more reviews, or to purchase, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ts/book-customer-reviews/
Naked Racial Preference: The Case Against
Affirmative Action, by Carl
Cohen Boston: Madison Books, 1995.
"The current flow of complaints about reverse discrimination in employment contracts
in itself provides substantial evidence that the bargaining process, notwithstanding its
general fairness, cannot be depended upon in this sphere. "Voluntary" is an
appealing word. But its use here suggests what is not true-that those who were injured by
the racial instruments devised in the contract did themselves volunteer to carry the
burden. Weber's sacrifice cannot plausibly be called "voluntary." This defense
of "voluntary" racial instruments (even if unions were invariably sensitive to
matters of individual right) avoids the key question of legitimate authority. At stake
here are the rights of individuals to the most fundamental of democratic conditions-equal
treatment under the law-and, moreover, their rights to that equal treatment as it bears
upon the most suspect of all categorical distinctions, race..."
[ For the complete review, visit http://humanitas.ucsb.edu/projects/aa/docs/cohen.individ.html
White Male Applicant: An Affirmative Action Expose, written and illustrated by William A. Whitaker.
"Everything you've ever wanted to know about affirmative
action, but nobody wanted to provide. White Male Applicant explains how white males have
become the invisible victims of liberal society's preferential programs."
Author Wm. Whitaker uses case studies and cartoon illustrations to expose very serious
discrimination against white males in the name of diversity.
[ Published by Apropos Press, soft cover, 210 pages,
1996. Available from Amazon.Com for $14.95
link at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0964904101/qid=953307587/sr=1-3/002-1684119-8929864