An essential history of America focusing on the overt urban policies that fortified widespread segregation. This is an exacting and damning indictment of the American government that is essential reading for all.
New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction An NPR Best Book of the Year Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction) Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History) Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize
This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).
Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.
Richard Rothstein, the author of The Color of Law and father to co-author Leah Rothstein, has written many books and articles on educational policy and racial inequality. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
When Stephanie Land started working on the pages that would become her debut memoir, Maid, she didn’t know those drafts would become a bestselling book or the basis for a hit Netflix series produced by John Wells, but she did know she wanted to tell the truth about her life. Our conversations about poverty and […]