Separate and Unequal

Separate and Unequal

The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism

Book - 2018
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In Separate and Unequal, historian Steven M. Gillon offers a revelatory new history of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders--popularly known as the Kerner Commission. Convened by President Lyndon Johnson after riots in Newark and Detroit left dozens dead and thousands injured, the commission issued a report in 1968 that attributed the unrest to "white racism" and called for aggressive new programs to end racism and poverty. "Our nation is moving toward two societies," they warned, "one black, and one white--separate and unequal." Fifty years later, Gillon draws on official records, never-before-seen private papers, and interviews with key players to offer an absorbing new account of the Kerner Commission's work and its vital legacies. Johnson, he shows, never intended the Commission as anything more than window dressing; when it took its mission seriously, he cut off its funding. And despite its unanimous report, the Commission was riven by generational, ideological, and racial divides that foreshadowed the fracturing of Johnson's liberal coalition and the reshaping of American politics in the years that followed. A vivid portrait of the possibilities and limitations of American liberalism at its apogee, Separate and Unequal is a crucial book for anyone seeking to understand our debate over race today.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780465096084
Characteristics: xvi, 374 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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