One by One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America

One by One from the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America

by Glenn C. Loury
     
 

America stands poised on the brink of an explosive period in race relations. Affirmative action, for a generation the major public-policy program aimed at reducing the disparity between blacks and whites, has been under strong intellectual and institutional attack by its critics and is very likely soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history.


Glenn Loury

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Overview

America stands poised on the brink of an explosive period in race relations. Affirmative action, for a generation the major public-policy program aimed at reducing the disparity between blacks and whites, has been under strong intellectual and institutional attack by its critics and is very likely soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history.


Glenn Loury views this crisis as an opportunity to move beyond our racial myopia, to assess our progress and take stock of our failures. In One by One from the Inside Out, a pointed and often eloquent look at race in America, Loury calls on Americans of all races to break free of the rhetorical box created by obsession with preferential policies. In a gripping commentary that transcends the simplistic labels "liberal" and "conservative," Loury assails the appalling absence of candid discourse on sensitive racial issues.


In an important opening chapter, Loury posits that black American history is defined by the conflict between two important ideas. One, advocated by Booker T. Washington, argues for blacks to earn equality and acceptance through achievement. The other, associated with W.E.B. Du Bois and adopted by the civil rights movement as well as black-power groups, urges blacks to demand and agitate for all legal, social, and economic rights. White acceptance, if it mattered at all, would follow. Seeking to rescue Washington's views from ignominy, Loury argues that it is now time to restore a balance between the two great traditions and to build a new civil rights consensus around the notion of black self-improvement.


One by One from the Inside Out takes a hard and critical look at the controversies surrounding such issue as black-Jewish relations, welfare reform, the racial dimension in academic performance and in crime, black dependence on public assistance, the changing nature of family structure among blacks and whites, and the growing concern over "hate speech" on college campuses and elsewhere. Urging blacks to be more willing to compete on their very real merits -- and asking whites to overcome their obsession with "color-blind" and "color-conscious" policies -- Loury argues that we have failed as a nation to develop a consensus that would ensure equality of opportunity for black Americans while upholding the integrity of our democratic system.


One by One from the Inside Out is one brave man's moving call for all Americans to rethink their attitudes toward race, and it presents a clear and compelling vision of how to heal our country's most divisive wound.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Loury, a prominent black neoconservative, is at his best in this collection as a critic, ably confronting authors such as Cornel West (``sloganeering''), Andrew Hacker (``conspiracy theory'') and Derrick Bell (``opinion in the guise of a morality tale.'') His more substantive essays make a few worthwhile, if not new, points: blacks should avoid one-note politics, and they too often embrace victimhood. Though Loury shows concern for the black poor, his vague solution of self-help-``religious, civic, and voluntary efforts of all sorts''-is sloganeering that should be fleshed out by reportage and analysis. In an epilogue Loury recounts-somewhat gingerly, given his professorial emphasis on personal morality-his ``born again'' spiritual journey, which rescued him from his own descent into drug and alcohol dependence. He now teaches economics at Boston University. (May)
Ray Olson
Loury is said to be a black neoconservative, but the 26 articles in this collection disclose no hardline free marketeer hell-bent on abolishing welfare, affirmative action, and other so-called liberal sacred cows. Rather, they show us a man of reason, conscience, common sense, and love. Whether addressing his professional peers (academic economists) with scholarly scrupulousness, speaking frankly to social activists, or recounting his own experiences of racial oppression and Christian rebirth, Loury affirms only what he has found by research, action, or careful reflection to be true. Writing on black-Jewish relations, black victimization as a social identity, economic inequities, modern liberalism and racism, and his other primary topics in this book, he is cogent because of his analytic ability (best displayed in a theoretical article on political correctness), compelling because of the intelligence with which he argues for acknowledging religion as a force in public affairs and personal behavior in order to successfully deal with the problems of racism and poverty. Loury's work expresses some of the very best thinking about race in the U.S.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780029194416
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
05/28/1995
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.14(d)

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