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America's New Racial Battle Lines : Protect versus Repair - Rogers M. Smith

America's New Racial Battle Lines

Protect versus Repair

By: Rogers M. Smith, Desmond King

Paperback | 5 July 2024 | Edition Number 1

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A sobering portrait of the United States's divided racial politics.

For nearly two decades, Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King have charted the shifting racial policy alliances that have shaped American politics across different eras. In America's New Racial Battle Lines, they show that US racial policy debates are undergoing fundamental change. Disputes over colorblind versus race-conscious policies have given way to new lines of conflict. Today's conservatives promise to protect traditionalist, predominantly white, Christian Americans against what they call the "radical" Left. Meanwhile, today's progressives seek not just to integrate American institutions but to more fully transform and "repair" pervasive systemic racism.

Drawing on interviews with activists, surveys, social network analyses, and comprehensive reviews of federal, state, and local policies and advocacy groups, Smith and King map the memberships and goals of two rival racial policy alliances and delineate the contrasting stories each side tells. They also show that these increasingly polarized racial policy alliances are substantially funded on both the Left and Right.

Placing today's conflicts in theoretical and historical perspectives, Smith and King analyze where these intensifying clashes may take the nation in the years ahead. They highlight the great potential for mounting violence, as well as the remaining possibilities for finding common ground.

Industry Reviews
"Theoretically rich and meticulously argued, America's New Racial Battle Lines is the book we all need to read over and over again. Two of the deepest thinkers on race and American politics illustrate how racial institutional orders have fundamentally shifted and what this evolution means for the future of the nation." -- Megan Ming Francis | author of "Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State"
"The enduring value of King and Smith's understanding of race politics in America lies in its keen sensitivity to how the basic parameters of a persistent conflict shift over time. Their examination of the latest configuration is especially arresting. America's New Racial Battle Lines alerts us not only to the starkness of the current divide but also to the organizational muscle arrayed behind it." -- Stephen Skowronek | Yale University

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