The End of Race?: Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America

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How did race affect the election that gave America its first African American president? This book offers some fascinating, and perhaps controversial, findings. Donald R. Kinder and Allison Dale-Riddle assert that racism was in fact an important factor in 2008, and that if not for racism, Barack Obama would have won in a landslide. On the way to this conclusion, they make several other important arguments. In an analysis of the nomination battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton, they show why racial identity matters more in electoral politics than gender identity. Comparing the 2008 election with that of 1960, they find that religion played much the same role in the earlier campaign that race played in ’08. And they argue that racial resentment—a modern form of racism that has superseded the old-fashioned biological variety—is a potent political force.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
University of Michigan political scientists Kinder and Dale-Riddle challenge the view that Obama's election signaled a post-racial America. Their meticulous analysis of national election data and social attitudes aims to determine the role of race in 2008, and what effect, if any, Obama's win has had on race relations in America. The nation may be less overtly racist today than during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras, but Kinder and Dale-Riddle maintain that racial resentments nonetheless were a major factor during Obama's push toward the White House. Drawing a parallel between race in 2008 and religion in 1960, when JFK became the first Catholic president, Kinder and Dale-Riddle argue that voters in both elections had "the chance to be on the right side of history," equating a vote for Kennedy as a sign of religious tolerance and a vote for Obama as a motion towards a post-racial United States. Since Kennedy's victory, Catholic-Protestant political tensions have fallen from the fore. After Obama's win, however, racial animosities remain. The authors seek to prove that though Obama won, in a truly post-racial nation he should 've have won by more. Thoroughly researched, compellingly argued, and supplemented by numerous charts and tables, Kinder and Dale-Riddle's exploration of racial politics sheds light on one of America's defining moments, and provides a timely reminder that there's more to be done race is not yet won. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300175196
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald R. Kinder is Philip E. Converse Collegiate Professor of Political Science, professor of psychology, and research professor in the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan. Allison Dale-Riddle is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Michigan.
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