Racecraft by Barbara J. Fields
The Soul of Inequality in American Life

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Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call “racecraft.” And this phenomenon is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed.

That the promised post-racial age has not dawned, the authors argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality. That failure should worry everyone who cares about democratic institutions.

About Barbara J. Fields

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Barbara J. Fields is Professor of History at Columbia University. Her books include the prize-winning Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century and (coauthored with the Freedmen and Southern Society Project) The Destruction of Slavery and Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War. Karen E. Fields is Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the Center for African and African American Research at Duke University. Her books include a translation of Emile Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. She is at work on Racism in the Academy: A Traveler’s Guide and Bordeaux’s Africa.
Published October 9, 2012 by Verso. 310 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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