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When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold…
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When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality… (2005 original; edició 2006)

de Ira Katznelson (Autor)

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310664,346 (4.33)2
In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) 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."… (més)
Membre:taxtorpedo
Títol:When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America
Autors:Ira Katznelson (Autor)
Informació:W. W. Norton & Company (2006), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Recovered books
Valoració:
Etiquetes:American history, African-American history, Jim Crow, affirmative action, black history, racism

Detalls de l'obra

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America de Ira Katznelson (2005)

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This book takes a microscope to the programs in the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 40s, highlighting how discriminatory they actually were. During legal segregation in the U.S., when the southern Democratic Party created Social Security, the GI Bill, and other labor laws, the author describes how the exclusion of maids and farmworkers, actually widened the gap between whites and blacks despite postwar prosperity.

Review from: The Write of Your Life. Books on race relations in America.
  stlukeschurch | Mar 8, 2021 |
this is really important. ( )
  mirnanda | Dec 27, 2019 |
Really academic but informative book This book has been touted recently in light of news on affirmative action so it seemed like a good candidate to borrow from the library. The title was intriguing (to me). Affirmative action is often associated with non-white people so I was curious to dig into the history and learn more about its origins, how it was implemented and more information to round out what I knew.
 
It was fascinating (and horrifying) to see how and why programs running from the New Deal to the GI Bill to Social Security, etc. were designed and implemented so that whites benefited. Some of this was political manueverings (objections and politics of Southern Democrats, for example). Some of it was by design (exclusion of farm workers and domestic). Definitely stuff that I don't remember when learning about the New Deal for instance (or very likely was never taught). 
 
That said, the criticisms are also on target. The writing style is tough to read, despite my interest and the topic and the author's enthusiasm for it. Sometimes the text is very uneven with very interesting passages then interspersed with really dry reading. It also could be quite repetitive and sometimes the points he's trying to make have been beaten to death.
 
That said, I'm glad I read it. I don't think I'll be checking out any other works by him but this was a good borrow from the library. Another book called 'The Color of Law' by Richard Rothstein focuses on discrimination on housing and would be a good supplement to this text. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
The New Deal was a devil’s bargain: major programs to alleviate the suffering of the Depression, but with Southern-demanded local control so that whites could continue to control blacks and deny them the benefits of government intervention. This or none, they said, and the good white people of the north and west chose this. When the pro-union national law started to enable unions to make gains in the South, threatening to improve blacks’ relative positions, Southern Democrats switched sides and joined Republicans to write laws that deterred unionization in agriculture and stemmed the union tide in general. And while the GI Bill provided major benefits for some black men—as did participating in the WWII armed forces even under segregated conditions—the national Democrats didn’t even try very hard to avoid local control, meaning that black veterans were regularly denied the educational, vocational, and mortgage/business help that whites received. White middle-class wealth increased tenfold; black middle-class wealth did not, even as incomes by class/occupation started to equalize. Katznelson ends with a call to recognize current affirmative action for African-Americans as a response to deliberate exclusion from government benefits in the past, whether done on the retail level or wholesale (by excluding “domestics” and agricultural workers from Social Security at its inception, for example). ( )
  rivkat | Oct 16, 2017 |
Critical to understanding the existing gaps between African Americans and whites in today's society, this book addresses the deliberate policy decisions made during the New Deal and the Fair Deal to exclude the vast majority of African Americans from the benefits of Social Security and fair labor reforms. While Congress was under control of the Southern Democrats, neither Roosevelt nor Truman was able to win gains for a social safety net without exclusions that basically upheld Jim Crow in the South. Even fairer public policies enacted by the federal government were guaranteed to be administered by state and local governments -- in the hands of white administrators in the South and most of the North. Because of discrimination in the military in both World Wars, even the liberal GI Bill, which supposedly benefitted all GIs helped only a handful of African Americans, while enabling most "white" GIs (now including Jews and Italians post-war) to gain a governement-financed education and government-guaranteed loans. Today's existing wealth gaps were built on this foundation of "white affirmative action." ( )
  johnjmeyer | Mar 21, 2015 |
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) 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."

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