Not All Black and White: Affirmative Action and American Values

Overview

Rejecting simplistic left-right arguments, Christopher Edley, Jr., offers a cogent and persuasive analysis of one of the most contended issues in politics today. He makes the powerful argument that affirmative-action laws are essential to social justice in this country, though they have flaws and drawbacks (for both of which he suggests precise and sensible remedies). He shows us what is at stake in the positions our elected officials take and in the arguments we make about ...

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Overview

Rejecting simplistic left-right arguments, Christopher Edley, Jr., offers a cogent and persuasive analysis of one of the most contended issues in politics today. He makes the powerful argument that affirmative-action laws are essential to social justice in this country, though they have flaws and drawbacks (for both of which he suggests precise and sensible remedies). He shows us what is at stake in the positions our elected officials take and in the arguments we make about fairness, justice, and progress.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harvard law professor Edley served as point man for President Clinton's affirmative action review and helped shape the "mend it, don't end it" policy the president proclaimed. His thorough, useful book shows an academic's sense of nuance and complexity. Edley acknowledges that affirmative action has risks and costs, but believes that the societal benefits justify them. While some posit that affirmative action merely remedies discrimination, Edley asserts that it also promotes "inclusion"a term he prefers to the loaded word diversity. He warns cogently that class-based affirmative action will not close our racial gaps, though his defense of affirmative action for Hispanics and Asians could be better buttressed. Edley is most useful when he lays out distinctions, such as in suggesting that the more affirmative action relates to opportunityas in educationthe more acceptable it may be. Ultimately, the author is pragmatic: some forms of affirmative action may create white male victims (he uses the term "bystanders"), but such programs, he believes, should be minimized in favor of broader, more politically acceptable ones. (Sept.)
Library Journal
All sides of affirmative action from the man who shaped Clinton's policy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374525415
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/15/1998
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: The White House Review 3
1 Facts and Law 41
2 Making Choices About Values 74
3 The Color-Blind Vision 84
4 A Second Vision: Opportunity and Antidiscrimination 107
5 A Third Vision: Remediation Plus Inclusion 123
6 Merit and Need 142
7 Designing Affirmative Action Measures 160
8 Policy Choices - Looking at Hard Examples 178
9 A Divide Over Difference: Nationalism and Beyond 209
10 Values and Community 244
Acknowledgments 279
Index 283
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