When Affirmative Action Was White

By Ira Katznelson,

Book cover of When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America

Book description

In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms…

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Why read it?

1 author picked When Affirmative Action Was White as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Katznelson explodes another myth in the troubled history of civil rights policy in the US. Most of us grew up believing that FDR’s New Deal policy innovations benefited the neediest of Americans at the height of the Great Depression. But as Katznelson documents in this groundbreaking book, African-Americans were largely excluded from New Deal programs as the price Southern Senators and Congressmen extracted from FDR in exchange for their support in stewarding the legislation through the Congressional committees they controlled.

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