Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress

Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress

by Carol M. Swain
     
 

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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 Lynden 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…  See more details below

Overview

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 Lynden 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 1984".

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."

About 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 (Cambridge University Press, 2002), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and its edited companion Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Booknews
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 (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674076167
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Carol M. Swain is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.

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