Black Faces, Black Interests / Edition 1

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Winner of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award from the American Political Science Association; the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the best scholarly work on Congress from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation; and co-winner of the V.O. Key Award from the Southern Political Science Association; Selected by Library Choice Journal as one of seven "Outstanding Academic Books of 1994" Through analysis of both black and white members of Congress, Black Faces, Black Interests challenges the proposition that only African Americans can represent black interests effectively and argues for black and white representatives to form coalitions to better serve their constituents. Since its publication in 1993, this book has been cited three times by the U.S. Supreme Court and has spawned numerous studies of minority representation. This enlarged edition features a new chapter entitled "Black Congressional Representation since 1992."

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Editorial Reviews

Political Science Quarterly
[Swain's] book offers a critical counterpoint to the traditional arguments of voting rights advocates.
Peter Schuck
Swain's analysis of a pivotal empirical issue—the representational effects of racial gerrymandering that assures safe seats to black politicians—is essential reading for citizens concerned about the future of voting rights policies.
Linda Fowler
Swain's book challenged conventional wisdom about race and representation a decade ago and remains as provocative now as it was then.
Library Journal
This study by Swain, an African American political scientist at Princeton University, is invaluable because it works on several levels. For those interested in black politics, her book presents insights into the activities of black congressional representatives on the Hill and in their districts. In this context, it is much like William L. Clay's Just Permanent Interests ( LJ 2/1/93). But while Clay's book tends to be impressionistic and anecdotal, Swain utilizes the methods of social science, including interviews, field observations, and analysis of voting records. However, Swain also attempts to solve the riddle of whether black interests are adequately represented and who can best represent them. She compares the behavior of black and white representatives serving historically black, newly created black, and heterogeneous districts and also considers blacks who serve majority-white districts. Her major conclusions, among them that whites can effectively represent black interests and that blacks must form coalitions with white representatives to serve black needs, will surprise many, for they challenge a number of prevailing assumptions about the appropriate ways of representing black interests. Strongly recommended for academic and large public political science collections.-- Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Swain (politics and public affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton U.) examines the problems of representing the interests of African- Americans by studying the constituency relations and roll-call voting of black members of Congress from a variety of districts--historically black, newly black, heterogeneous, and primarily white--and of white members from districts with either a black majority or a significant black minority. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761834076
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition description: Enlarged
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol M. Swain is Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Swain's most recent books include The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and its edited companion Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Part 2 I. The Context: 1. The Representation of Black Interests in Congress; 2. Tracing the Footsteps of Blacks on the Hill Part 3 II. Black Representatives: 3. Black Representatives of Historically Black Districts; 4. Black Representatives of Newly Black Districts; 5. Black Representatives of Heterogeneous Districts; 6. Black Representatives of Majority-White Districts Part 4 III. White Representatives: 7. White Representatives of Minority-Black Districts; 8. White Representatives of Majority-Black Districts Part 5 IV. Implications: 9. Strategies for Increasing Black Representation of Blacks; 10. The Future of Black Congressional Representation; 11. Black Congressional Representation since 1992 Chapter 6 Appendix A. Research Methods Chapter 7 Appendix B. Campaign Finance 1980-1990 Chapter 8 Appendix C. Legislative Records of All Black Representatives, 100th Congress Chapter 9 Notes Chapter 10 Index

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