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White Guilt
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About the Author

Shelby Steele is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University, and is a contributing editor at Harper's magazine. His many prizes and honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, an Emmy Award, a Writers Guild Award, and the National Humanities Medal.

Reviews

Speaking the language of moralism, individual freedom and responsibility, contrarian cultural critic Steele builds on ideas he earlier articulated in his National Book Critics Circle Award-winner The Content of Our Character (1990). Today's problem, Steele forcefully argues, is not black oppression, but white guilt, a loose term that encompasses both an attempt by whites to regain the moral authority they lost after the Civil Rights Movement, and black contempt toward "Uncle Tom" complicity with white hegemony, resulting in a shirking of personal accountability. Steele makes a passionate case against the "Faustian bargain" he perceives on the left: "we'll throw you a bone like affirmative action if you'll just let us reduce you to your race so we can take moral authority for `helping' you." But progressive readers will object to his assertion that systemic racism is a thing of the past-and to his praise of the Bush administration's philosophy on poverty, education and race. Though Steele takes a hard, critical look at affirmative action, self-serving white liberals and self-victimizing black leaders, he stops short of offering real-world solutions. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

White guilt isn't any better for blacks than white supremacy, argues Steele, who instead advocates a culture of personal responsibility. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Prophet or polemicist, Steele is a graceful and often compelling literary stylist... [and] deserves a wide readership."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Piercing and personal... WHITE GUILT is a brilliant little essay, deserving of a large and appreciative audience."--Washington Times
" Shelby Steele is America's clearest thinker about America's most difficult problem."--George F. Will
"Powerful, lucid and elegant...On questions of race in America--white guilt, black opportunism--[Steele] is our 21st century Socrates."--Charles Johnson, author of MIDDLE PASSAGE, National Book Award winner
"As delightful a read as one can find on a book devoted to America's historically most contentious topic."--New York Post
"There is no writer who deserves black America's allegiance more than Shelby Steele... Steele's writing is a marvel."--John McWhorter, National Review
"A hard, critical look at affirmative action, self-serving white liberals and self-victimizing black leaders."--Publishers Weekly
"Thought provoking."--Library Journal

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