When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson
An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America

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A groundbreaking work that exposes the twisted origins of affirmative action.

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."

About Ira Katznelson

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Ira Katznelson is Columbia University’s Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History. Having served as president of the American Political Science Association, he is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Published August 17, 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company. 253 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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And because the Roosevelt administration was beholden to the South for votes, it did almost nothing to advance civil rights for African-Americans: “There would be no anti-lynching law on President Roosevelt’s watch,” Katznelson writes, “nor would racial hierarchies in the armed forces or federal ...

May 01 2005 | Read Full Review of When Affirmative Action Was W...

The New York Times

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(A black newspaper editorial criticized Roosevelt for excluding from the minimum wage law the black women who worked long hours for $4.50 a week at the resort the president frequented in Warm Springs, Ga.) At the time, most blacks in the labor force were employed in agriculture or as domesti...

Aug 28 2005 | Read Full Review of When Affirmative Action Was W...

Daily Kos

When people say that there is a black race and white race and that two siblings with different skin colors - one very white and one darker - are from different "races" then I know people who believe that are delusional.

Dec 08 2006 | Read Full Review of When Affirmative Action Was W...

Daily Kos

I am simply stating that though race and class often overlap - solely basing admissions on economics will not address the racism that blacks, latinos, native americans are subjected to - not based on class but on their skin color.

Oct 14 2012 | Read Full Review of When Affirmative Action Was W...

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