Reagan Presidency And The Politics Of Race

Overview

Laham analyzes perhaps the most politically controversial element of Reagan's conservative agenda, involving his attempt to curtail federal enforcement of civil rights laws. The book focuses on the major initiatives Reagan pursued in his attempt to curb enforcement of those laws: first, his efforts to reform affirmative action by prohibiting mandatory employer use of minority and white female hiring goals, and second, his veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.

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Overview

Laham analyzes perhaps the most politically controversial element of Reagan's conservative agenda, involving his attempt to curtail federal enforcement of civil rights laws. The book focuses on the major initiatives Reagan pursued in his attempt to curb enforcement of those laws: first, his efforts to reform affirmative action by prohibiting mandatory employer use of minority and white female hiring goals, and second, his veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act.

Reagan's academic critics argue that the president was politically motivated in his efforts to curtail federal enforcement of civil rights laws by his desire to appeal for the support of working-class whites, many of whom harbor racial resentments against minorities. Reagan's historical reputation suffers from his attempt to curb enforcement of those laws, which has fostered charges by his critics that he was cynical and manipulative, though outwardly pleasant and likable; a president who shamelessley played the race card for his own political gain. Laham challenges the conventional notion that Reagan was an ardent practitioner of the politics of racial division. Rather, he argues that Reagan's civil rights policy was determined by his philosophical commitment to colorblind justice and limited government, two core principles of his conservative agenda. This is a controversial survey important to students and scholars of contemporary American politics, public policy, and race relations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Analyzes former president Reagan's efforts to curtail federal enforcement of civil rights laws, focusing on affirmative action and the Grove City decision. Challenges the conventional notion that Reagan was a cynical and manipulative president who played the race card for his own political gain, and argues that his civil rights policy was determined by his genuine belief in color-blind justice and limited government. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275961824
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1998
  • Pages: 258
  • Lexile: 1680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

NICHOLAS LAHAM is an independent scholar specializing in the study of American politics and public policy. Among Dr. Laham's earlier publications are Why the United States Lacks a National Health Insurance Program (Praeger, 1993) and A Lost Cause: Bill Clinton's Campaign for National Health Insurance (Praeger, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Race 1
I The Politics of Affirmative Action during the Reagan Administration 17
2 The Reagan Administration Considers Reforms in Affirmative Action 19
3 The Political Backlash against Reagan's Efforts to Reform Affirmative Action 33
4 Reagan's Commitment to Colorblind Law 73
5 Conservative Interest Groups Mobilize against Affirmative Action 93
6 Why Reagan Failed to Reform Affirmative Action 121
II The Politics of the Grove City Decision and the Civil Rights Restoration Act 133
7 The Battle over the Civil Rights Restoration Act Begins 135
8 Congress Passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act 151
9 Congress Overrides Reagan's Veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act 173
III Ronald Reagan: Playing the Race Card or Pursuing Colorblind Justice and Limited Government? 195
10 Ronald Reagan: Practitioner of the Politics of Racial Division or Advocate of Colorblind Justice and Limited Government? 197
Notes 217
Selected Bibliography 231
Index 233
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