Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama's America

Overview

"Still a House Divided deftly lays to rest the idea of postracialism in American politics and, through the concept of rival racial-policy coalitions, reveals the modern potency of the dispute between color-blind and race-conscious camps. King and Smith make a compelling case that competing visions over the role of race continue to define the core of American political life, and their bold and meticulously researched book offers new and much-needed leverage on a frustratingly durable problem."—Lawrence D. Bobo, ...

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Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama's America

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Overview

"Still a House Divided deftly lays to rest the idea of postracialism in American politics and, through the concept of rival racial-policy coalitions, reveals the modern potency of the dispute between color-blind and race-conscious camps. King and Smith make a compelling case that competing visions over the role of race continue to define the core of American political life, and their bold and meticulously researched book offers new and much-needed leverage on a frustratingly durable problem."—Lawrence D. Bobo, Harvard University

"This is an important book by two very insightful scholars. King and Smith take on issues, both historical and current, necessary to understanding and intervening in the racialized political landscape that we presently confront. Unwilling to yield to any one perspective, the authors point a critical eye to all those involved in current racial policy debates. Everyone can learn something from reading this book."—Cathy J. Cohen, author of Democracy Remixed and The Boundaries of Blackness

"The book's impressive and persuasive argument ranges broadly across many arenas too often discussed separately. The authors show that the United States has experienced three periods of distinct racial alliances, and that we are in the third period, still in a racially structured polity. They indicate that if the stakes in many policy disputes were clearer, the United States could move closer to racial justice and equality through better policy choices."—Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University

"This book convincingly demonstrates that across U.S. history, racial alliances have dramatically shaped the political landscape in ways that force us to reconsider what we understand about U.S. politics as a whole. An important contribution to the study of race within political science and far beyond."—Joseph Lowndes, University of Oregon

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Still a House Divided is quite an achievement. . . . This is an outstanding work.
New Republic - Richard D. Kahlenberg
[King and Smith] accurately survey the history and the evolution of American thinking on race.
Ethnic & Racial Studies - Mark Sawyer
Essential reading for scholars of race, politics and policy. It provides a rich and textured analysis that is accessible and theoretically driven. . . . The individual sections are master classes in each policy era and will help guide individual scholars with interests in those eras. With that, the book is an instant classic by two scholars who routinely produce work of this quality.
Political Science Quarterly - Katherine Tate
Hopefully, there will be an intellectually synergistic effect from the publication of Still a House Divided. As American politics scholars in these camps move forward, they might be able to see some working in the middle and refine their scholarship.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012

"[King and Smith] accurately survey the history and the evolution of American thinking on race."—Richard D. Kahlenberg, New Republic

"Still a House Divided is quite an achievement. . . . This is an outstanding work."—Choice

"Essential reading for scholars of race, politics and policy. It provides a rich and textured analysis that is accessible and theoretically driven. . . . The individual sections are master classes in each policy era and will help guide individual scholars with interests in those eras. With that, the book is an instant classic by two scholars who routinely produce work of this quality."—Mark Sawyer, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"Hopefully, there will be an intellectually synergistic effect from the publication of Still a House Divided. As American politics scholars in these camps move forward, they might be able to see some working in the middle and refine their scholarship."—Katherine Tate, Political Science Quarterly

"Presenting a powerful account of American political alliances and their contending racial agendas, Still a House Divided sheds light on a policy path vital to the country's future."—World Book Industry

From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012

"[King and Smith] accurately survey the history and the evolution of American thinking on race."—Richard D. Kahlenberg, New Republic

"Still a House Divided is quite an achievement. . . . This is an outstanding work."—Choice

"Essential reading for scholars of race, politics and policy. It provides a rich and textured analysis that is accessible and theoretically driven. . . . The individual sections are master classes in each policy era and will help guide individual scholars with interests in those eras. With that, the book is an instant classic by two scholars who routinely produce work of this quality."—Mark Sawyer, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"Hopefully, there will be an intellectually synergistic effect from the publication of Still a House Divided. As American politics scholars in these camps move forward, they might be able to see some working in the middle and refine their scholarship."—Katherine Tate, Political Science Quarterly

Library Journal
11/01/2013
Though few would argue that racial inequality no longer exists in the United States, fewer still would be able to articulate precisely how and why our failure to erase it has been so spectacular. Here King and Smith tell the story of the political alliances and racial agendas that continue to shape our deeply flawed public policy.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Desmond S. King is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of American Government at the University of Oxford. His many books include "The Liberty of Strangers: Making the American Nation". Rogers M. Smith is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His many books include "Stories of Peoplehood".

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii Acknowledgments ix

PART ONE: Obama’s Inheritance
CHAPTER 1 That They May All Be One America as a House Divided 3

PART TWO: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Hierarchies
CHAPTER 2 "That is the last speech he will ever make"
The Antebellum Racial Alliances 35
CHAPTER 3 "We of the North were thoroughly wrong"
How Racial Alliances Mobilized Ideas and Law 62

PART THREE: The Trajectory of Racial Alliances
CHAPTER 4 "This backdrop of entrenched inequality"
Affirmative Action in Work 93
CHAPTER 5 To "affi rmatively further fair housing"
Enduring Racial Inequalities in American Homes and Mortgages 137
CHAPTER 6 "To Elect One of Their Own"
Racial Alliances and Majority-Minority Districts 168
CHAPTER 7 "Our goal is to have one classification-American"
Vouchers for Schools and the Multiracial Census 192
CHAPTER 8 "We can take the people out of the slums, but we cannot take the slums out of the people"
How Today’s Racial Alliances Shape Laws on Crime and Immigration 215

PART FOUR: America’s Inheritance
CHAPTER 9 Prospects of the House Divided 253

Notes 293
Index 349

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