The Rage of a Privileged Class

The Rage of a Privileged Class

4.5 2
by Ellis Cose

View All Available Formats & Editions

A controversial and widely heralded look at the race-related pain and anger felt by the most respected, best educated, and wealthiest members of the black community.


A controversial and widely heralded look at the race-related pain and anger felt by the most respected, best educated, and wealthiest members of the black community.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A disciplined, graceful exposition of a neglected aspect of the subject of race in America.
John Mort
There is a huge black middle class, many of whom are well educated, competent, and prosperous. Yet despite their great achievements, says Cose, they are frustrated and even enraged. He cites one survey after another to portray the subtle forms of prejudice that black professionals must endure: a black woman may be hired in public relations, say, but then whites will see the position as weak and nonintellectual, a job designed for blacks. A black male lawyer hired to fill a quota may file brilliant briefs, but he'll be held back from a partnership because affirmative action may get you in the door, but it quickly becomes a millstone. Cose considers every aspect of prejudice affecting blacks--the resentments of underclass blacks toward successful ones, complexion-based discrimination of blacks against blacks, white assumptions that all blacks are criminals because of media portraits of street thugs, white perceptions that blacks aren't good managers--even, with his extraordinary fairness, the frustrations of white males, many of whom feel that black advances come because "they" are discriminated against. Although Cose feels affirmative action has been helpful, he is ambivalent about it as a course for the future, instead favoring workplace models based on honest assessments of diversity; in some ways, though without the same faith in the ultimate justice of market forces, he carries forward the arguments of Stephen Carter's "Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby" (1991). In any event, Cose has written an exceptionally reflective book, and serialization in "Newsweek" should assure demand.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Harper Perennial
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
395 KB

Meet the Author

Ellis Cose is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Rage of a Privileged Class. A former contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, his writing has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Time magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Daily News, among other publications.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Rage of a Privileged Class 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago

For the majority of us, we can relate. I find Mr. Cose's analogies in here somewhat funny, but on a sad note, true.

There is definitely disappointment, sadness, and rage amongst the 'middle class', who feel that they will never belong, despite their so-called 'success' and privileged rights. Remember, that a right can be taken away, thus in an essence nulling it and making it a deemed privilege.

I read this book in about two days. I feel like Mr. Close has done a great deal to expose the inner 'thoughts' of those who are supposed to be 'moving up' in society, but who are surprised at finding themselves limited in a white world.

There's no need to bash whites for a way that obviously didn't work, doesn't work, and won't work in the future.

I think that even some of the critics fail to really notice the black mind and choose to belittle the studies inside of the book. See out of print version of Rage's reviews.

There is a sentiment that the black middle class is just that, the middle class, and that it just doesn't belong, having been 'educated', it seems like their worth has depreciated both in the eyes of their people, and whites, who will always shift societal issues onto the underclass of black people, and who cannot see beyond skin color.

All white people aren't evil, as most of us know, and aren't meant to be condemned, and this book seeks to foster understanding and gives a voice to the 'disadvantaged' privileged class.

He also discusses programs like affirmative action and quotas, and the so-called hot button 'reverse discrimination'. One book you will at least want to read, if you don't want to place in your home library. This book might enrage you, or make you laugh, but I assure you that you won't put it down.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago