Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of South Africa, the United States, and Brazil

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Overview

In this bold, original and persuasive book, Anthony W. Marx provocatively links the construction of nations to the construction of racial identity. Using a comparative historical approach, Marx analyzes the connection between race as a cultural and political category rooted in the history of slavery and colonialism, and the development of three nation states. He shows how each country's differing efforts to establish national unity and other institutional impediments have served, through the nation-building process and into their present systems of state power, to shape and often crystallize categories and divisions of race. Focusing on South Africa, Brazil and the United States, Marx illustrates and elucidates the historical dynamics and institutional relationships by which the construction of race and the development of these nations have informed one another. Deftly combining comparative history, political science and sociological interpretation, sharpened by over three-hundred interviews with key informants from each country, he follows this dialogue into the present to discuss recent political mobilization, popular protest and the current salience of race issues. Anthony W. Marx is Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and has been a Visiting Professor at Yale University
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Making Race and Nation Anthony Marx draws out distinctions that have not been captured by other scholars who have examined race relations in the United States, South Africa and Brazil. This remarkable and original book will certainly influence theory building in race and ethnic relations. It will also be widely cited by social scientists who are interested in the social, economic and political conditions that enhance racial antagonisms." William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

"Through strategic juxtaposition of three racially divided societies, Marx is able to blow apart many popular myths about the causes and consequences of racial domination. For Marx, states make race, albeit not precisely the way their governing elites envisioned. This compelling treatise not only makes a significant contribution to the social theory of race, but due to its clear and lively style, should be of great interest to the general public." David Laitin, University of Chicago

"Anthony Marx has brought off a bold comparison among South Africa, Brazil, and the United States, showing how state policy and racial categorization interact....He offers a remarkable combination of comparative history, political theory, and sociological interpretation...To cover so much intellectual and geographic space so coherently amounts to a tour de force." Charles Tilly, Columbia University

"...Marx has done an extraordinary job of buttressing his analysis with good history....A rich body of footnotes is included. Of interest to general readers and all academic libraries." Choice

"This book will profoundly change how we understand state and race. It will launch many progeny and imitations but few, I expect, with its largeness of conception or with the sweep of its historical comparison." James C. Scott, Yale University

"Making Race and Nation is a superb book: stunning in its sweep, remarkable in its documentation, masterful in its theoretical statement. The elegant interweaving of the contingent concept of race, the nature of the state, and the form assumed by the text of nationhood in these three polities is rich in insight and persuasive in argument. No one interested in racial formation, identity politics, or state theory can afford to ignore this major contribution." M. Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin

"The argument is intriguing, and the evidence persuasively marshaled." Robert H. Bates, Harvard University

"This is a carefully constructed and lucidly argued work of scholarship." Donald L. Horowitz, Duke University

"...impressive...." Robert M. Levine

"This comparative study of racial politics in three nations and of the links between the political production of 'race' and nation building is an intriguing and thought-provoking read. Anthony Marx has made an important contribution to our understanding of the complexities of racism and raised new questins about the work that needs to be done to dismantle these systems. He writes in a clear, accessible, and compelling style and documents his work exhaustively." Jennifer J. Yanco, Int Jrnl of African Hist Soc

Charles Tilly
Anthony Marx has brought off a bold comparison among South Africa, Brazil, and the United States, showing how state policy and racial categorization interact. He offers a remarkable combination of comparative history, political theory, and sociological interpretation. To cover so much intellectual and geographic space so coherently amounts to a tour de force. -- Charles Tilly, Columbia University
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; Part I. Historical and Cultural Legacies: 2. Trajectories from colonialism; 3. Lessons from slavery; 4. The uncertain legacy of miscegenation; Implications; Part II. Racial Domination and the Nation-State: 5. 'Wee for thee, South Africa': the racial state; 6. 'To bind up the nation's wounds': the United States after the Civil War; 7. 'Order and progress': inclusive nation-state building in Brazil; Comparative racial domination: an overview; Part III. Race Making from Below: 8. 'We are a rock': Black racial identity, mobilization and the new South Africa; 9. Burying Jim Crow: Black racial identity, mobilization and reform in the United States; 10. Breaching Brazil's pact of silence; 11. Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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