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Separate and Unequal


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About the Author

Steven M. Gillon is a scholar-in-residence for the History Channel and a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma. The author of several books on American history, he lives in Miami Beach.


"Separate and Unequal is an enormously impressive book. Steven Gillon tells a compellingly granular story about the so-called Kerner Commission's inner workings in 1967-1968.... And he employs his formidable story-telling skills to draw out the lasting historical consequences."--David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus, Stanford University
"How did a government document that black radicals anticipated would be a whitewash end up instead denouncing 'white racism'? This improbable turn of events animates Steven M. Gillon's deft, incisive, and altogether absorbing history of the Kerner Commission, which he convincingly depicts as 'the last gasp of 1960s liberalism'...Meticulous."--Atlantic
"Steven Gillon delivers a riveting read about a devastating challenge to the confident liberalism of the sixties.... This fascinating book illuminates both the 1960s and our own times."--Laura Kalman, professor of history, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Steven Gillon's timely book, Separate and Unequal, is a compelling reminder that America remains a racially divided country.... Every lawmaker and every fair-minded citizen should read Gillon's history."--Robert Dallek
"When the African American freedom struggle moved north, the Great Society coalition fell apart. Fifty years on, Steven Gillon reconstructs that dramatic story with his trademark brio and deep research, chronicling both the immediate and the enduring political consequences."--Gareth Davies, Associate Professor of American History, Oxford University
"[A] compelling new history of the commission.... The Kerner Commission was right about race in America, but its very ambitions enabled the backlash against much of what it hoped to achieve."--Washington Post
"While solutions to poverty and discrimination are far from the national political agenda, the history of the Kerner Report reminds us that liberals and the left can still influence policy from the margins."--Nation
"Boldly written...The hard lesson being driven home by Gillon is that race relations and preservation of social decency are extraordinarily complex problems. They lack simple and immediate reconciliation. The conundrum has only grown since the Kerner Commission."--New York Journal of Books
"In Separate and Unequal, Steven M. Gillon...tells the fraught story of the commission, its recommendations and American race relations in the five decades since. His book is sophisticated, fair-minded-and a bracing corrective to complacency about racial reconciliation in America."--Wall Street Journal
"Gillon's thought-provoking look into the Kerner Commission provides great insight into race issues of 1960s America."--Publishers Weekly
"In our toxic and dispiriting time, Separate and Unequal is an important reminder that social and racial progress is uneven and subject to setbacks like the one suffered after the release of the Kerner Report. But Steven Gillon's surprising story of dogged liberal politicians and journalists also shows that well-framed social arguments can change the debate forever." --Jonathan Alter, author of The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemiesspan
"Racism remains a deeply troubling aspect of American history and culture, and Gillon's...excellent history of the 1967-68 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, more popularly known as the Kerner Commission, provides historical insight on today's political climate...Exceptionally well-researched and timely."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Steven Gillon captures both the promise still viable in 1968 as well as the emergence of the 'post-civil rights'racial and political order that dominates American life today. It is a timely and essential book." --Patricia Sullivan, author of Lift Every Voice and professor of history, University of South Carolina
"Gillon's research about the Kerner Commission, bolstered by hours of interviews with the surviving members, is extremely well-documented and also offers the feel of being ripped from today's headlines.... Well-rendered popular American history that also speaks to present-day issues."--Kirkus Reviews

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