The Affirmative Action Puzzle: A Comprehensive and Honest Exploration of One of the Most Controversial Legal and Social Issues in US History

The Affirmative Action Puzzle: A Comprehensive and Honest Exploration of One of the Most Controversial Legal and Social Issues in US History

by Melvin I. Urofsky

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Overview

A rich, multifaceted history of affirmative action from the Civil Rights Act of 1866 through today’s tumultuous times

From an acclaimed legal historian, a history of affirmative action from its beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to the first use of the term in 1935 with the enactment of the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) to 1961 and John F. Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925, mandating that federal contractors take “affirmative action” to ensure that there be no discrimination by “race, creed, color, or national origin” down to today’s American society. 

Melvin Urofsky explores affirmative action in relation to sex, gender, and education and shows that nearly every public university in the country has at one time or another, successfully or not, instituted some form of affirmative action plan.

Urofsky traces the evolution of affirmative action through labor and the struggle for racial equality, writing of World War I and the exodus that began when some six million African Americans moved northward between 1910 and 1960, one of the greatest internal migrations in the country’s history. 

He describes how Harry Truman, after becoming president in 1945, fought for Roosevelt’s Fair Employment Practice Act and, surprising everyone, appointed a distinguished panel to serve as the President’s Commission on Civil Rights, as well as appointing the first black judge on a federal appeals court in 1948 and, by executive order later that year, ordering full racial integration in the armed forces. 

In this important, ambitious, far-reaching book, Urofsky writes about the affirmative action cases decided by the Supreme Court: cases that either upheld or struck down particular plans that affected both governmental and private entities. We come to fully understand the societal impact of affirmative action: how and why it has helped, and inflamed, people of all walks of life; how it has evolved; and how, and why, it is still needed.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510769311
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Pages: 624
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

MELVIN I. UROFSKY is a professor emeritus of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and was the chair of its history department. He is the editor (with David W. Levy) of the five-volume collection of Louis Brandeis’s letters, as well as the author of The Affirmative Action Puzzle, Dissent and the Supreme Court, and Louis D. Brandeis. He lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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