White Lies by Maurice Berger
Race and the Myths of Whiteness

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The acclaimed work that debunks our myths and false assumptions about race in America

Maurice Berger grew up hypersensitized to race in the charged environment of New York City in the sixties. His father was a Jewish liberal who worshiped Martin Luther King, Jr.; his mother a dark-skinned Sephardic Jew who hated black people. Berger himself was one of the few white kids in his Lower East Side housing project.
Berger's unusual experience--and his determination to examine the subject of race for its multiple and intricate meanings--makes White Lies a fresh and startling book.
Berger has become a passionate observer of race matters, searching out the subtle and not-so-subtle manifestations of racial meaning in everyday life. In White Lies, he encourages us to reckon with our own complex and often troubling opinions about race. The result is an uncommonly honest and affecting look at race in America today--free of cant, surprisingly entertaining, unsettled and unsettling.


About Maurice Berger

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Maurice Berger grew up in the Bernard Baruch Houses, a public housing project in New York City. He is a Senior Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School for Social Research. He lives in New York City.
Published April 28, 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 240 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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His many short topical chapters, on such matters as “Rage,” “Fear,” “Envy” and “Beauty,” focus in an immediate, personal way on “the game of racial avoidance and evasion.” Berger performs a real service in discussing the most uncomfortable aspects of his subject, such as the competitive racial re...

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Publishers Weekly

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Maybe this is what President Clinton had in mind when he tried to kickstart a national discussion on race. Berger's book is subjective, fragmented and, most appealingly, devoid of piety. The son of a

Jan 04 1999 | Read Full Review of White Lies: Race and the Myth...

Publishers Weekly

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And his broadening of focus allows Berger to encompass some potent voices, from the dreadlocked black person mistaken for Whoopi Goldberg to the white-seeming black artist Adrian Piper, whose Calling Card 1, a work of art and functional calling card, alerts people to racist remarks.

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