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don't judge a book by its cover don't judge a book by its cover
Gary Klass
Department of Politics and Government 
Illinois State University

    POS334-L is a discussion list constructed for the Race, Ethnicity and Social Inequality seminar (formerly numbered POS302) held each spring semester at Illinois State University. Subscription to the list is open to all faculty and students at any University or College. The discussion on the list consists of book reviews and commentaries on book reviews submitted by the subscribers. The purposes of the list are to provide an audience for the work of the students in the seminar, to provide the seminar with an external source of opinion and insight on the readings under discussion, and to provide all subscribers with an public forum for the discussion of contemporary books on race, ethnicity, and social inequality.

    Graduate and Undergraduate students are especially encouraged to submit book reviews to the list and to participate in the discussions.  Faculty are encouraged to use this list with their classes.

    The discussion list is open for reviews of books on race and ethnicity at any time, including books that are not on the class schedule.

The Discussion List:

The Course:

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Book Review Archive

Abelmann, Nancy and John Lie. Blue Dreams

Anderson, Elijah. Streetwise

K. Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutmann. Col or Conscious Asante, Molefi. The Afrocentric Idea

Banks, William. Black Intellectuals

Ball, Howard. The Bakke Case

Barber, Benjamin. Jihad vs. McWorld

Barrera, Mario. Beyond Aztlan

Beckner, Chrisanne.  100 African-Americans Who Shaped America

Bell, Derrick. And We are not Saved; Faces at the Bottom of the WellGospel Choirs

Barbara R. Bergmann. In Defense of Affirmative Action

Billingsley, Andrew. Black Families in White America

Bordewich, Fergus. Killing the White Man's Indian

Bonilla-Silva Eduardo. Racism Without Racists

Brimlow, Peter. Alien Nation

Brown, Tony.  Black Lies, White Lies

Bullard, Robert.  Unequal Protection

Caldwell, Earl. Black American Witness

Carnoy, Martin,  et. al., Whitewashing Race;

Chavez, Linda. Out Of The Barrio; An Unlikely Conservative:

Chavez, Lydia. The Color Bind

Cole, David . No Equal Justice .  

Collins, Patricia Hill.  Black Feminist Thought

Connerly, Ward. Creating Equal

Cornell, Stephen. The Return Of The Native

Cose, Ellis.  The Rage Of A Privileged Class, Color Bind (2003, real audio speech) Bone to Pick

Crawford, James. Hold Your Tongue

Crow Dog, Mary. Lakota Woman

Cruse, Harold. Plural, But Equal

Davis, Angela. Women, Culture And Politics

Dalton, Harlon L. Racial Healing

Richard Delgado. The Coming Race War? 

Deloria, Vine and Lytle, Clifford. The Nations Within

Deloria, Vine. Red Earth White Lies; Custer Died for Your Sins

Deparle, Jason. American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare

Dillard, Angela D. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now?

Dionne, E.J. Why Americans Hate Politics

Dickerson, Debra. The End of Blackness

D'Souza, Dinesh. Iliberal Education; The End of Racism; What's So Great About America?

Duneier, Mitchel. Slim's Table

Dyson, Michael Eric. Is Bill Cosby Right?:

Micheal Eric Dyson. Race Rules

Terry Eastland. Ending Affirmative Action

Edsall, Thomas and Mary. Chain Reaction

Ezorsky, Gertrude. Racism and Justice

Eskridge William N.  Jr.  The Case for Same-Sex Marriage

Farber, Daniel A. and Suzanna Sherry. Beyond All Reason

Feagin, Joe R. Racist America (Spring '03)

Feagin, Joe R.,  Melvin P. Sikes. Living With Racism

Fleisher, Mark S. Beggars and Thieves

Frady, Marshall. Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson

Frankenburg, Ruth. The Social Construction of Whiteness

Fredrickson, George M.  Racism: A Short History 

Friedman. Thomas L. The Lexus and the Olive Tree

Geyer, Georgie Anne. Americans No More

Gilder, George. Men and Marriage

Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families

Glazer, Nathan. We Are All Multiculturalists  Now

Guinier, Lani. The Tyranny Of The Majority

Hacker, Andrew. Two Nations

Hart , Dianne Walta, Undocumented in L.A.

Henry, William A. III. In Defense Of Elitism

Herrnstein, Richard J. and Charles Murray. The Bell Curve

Hochschild, Jennifer. Facing Up To The American Dream

Huntington, Samuel. Who Are We?

Ignatiev, Noel, How the Irish Became White

Isay, David.  Our America

Jackson, Jesse, Jr.  Legal Lynching

Jhally, Sut and Justin Lewis. Enlightened Racism

Kahlenberg, Richard D. The Remedy

Katznelson, Ira.  When Affirmative Action was White

Kaus, Mickey. The End of Equality

Kelley, Robin  and George Lipsitz,  Race Rebels 

Kennedy, Randall Race, Crime, and the Law

Kotlowitz, Alex. There Are No Children Here

Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace;  Savage Inequalities; Ordinary Resurrections; The Shame of the Nation

Lauffer, Armand. Careers, Colleagues and Conflicts

Lane, Harlan. The Mask of Benevolence

Lorde, Andre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name 

Massey, Douglas and Nancy Denton. American Apartheid

McCall, Nathan. Makes Me Wanna Holler

McWhorter, John H. Losing the Race

Mead, Lawrence. The New Politics of Poverty

Michaels, Walter Benn. The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

Moynihan, Daniel P.  Family and Nation

Ogeltree, Charles. All Deliberate Speed

Ono, Kent A  and John M. Sloop,  Shifting Borders

Orfield and Ashkinaze. The Closing Door

Orlando Patterson. The Ordeal Of Integration

Payne, Richard J.  Getting Beyond Race

Phillips, Kevin. The Politics of Rich and Poor

Porter, Rosalie Pedalino. Forked Tongue

Portes, Alejandro and Ruben G. Rumbaut. Immigrant America

Ramos, Jorge. The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Are Transforming Politics in America

Rainwater, Lee and Timothy M. Smeeding, Poor Kids in a Rich Country

Rieder, Jonathan. Canarsie  

Robinson, Randall . The Debt

Rodriguez, Richard.  Hunger of Memory

Roediger, David The Wages of Whiteness 

Rothstein, Richard,  Class and Schools

Ryan, William. Blaming The Victim 

Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. The Disuniting of America

Shipler, David K. A Country of Strangers; The Working Poor 

Sidel, Ruth. Women and Children Last; Battling Bias

Simon, Rita J., Howard Altstein, and Marygold S. Melli. The Case For Transracial Adoption

Simpson, Andrea Y. The Tie That Binds


Sleeper, Jim.  Liberal Racism 

Smith, Robert C. Contemporary Controversies and the American Racial Divide

Sniderman, Paul M. and Thomas Piazza. The Scare of Race; Reaching beyond Race

Sowell, Thomas. Race and Culture (C-span interview) (real audio);
Affirmative Action Around the World;  Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Steele, Shelby. The Content of Our Character; A Dream Deferred; White Guilt

Suro, Roberto. Strangers Among Us

Swain, Carol M. Black Faces, Black Interests

Sykes, Charles. A Nation Of Victims

Tagaki, Dana. Retreat From Race

Thernstrom, Stephen and Abigail, America in Black and White, No Excuses

Tonry, Michael. Malign Neglect-Race, Crime, and Punishment in America

Tuan, Mia.  Forever Foreigners or Honorary Whites?

Tusmith, Bonnie and Maureen T. Reedy.  Race in the College Classroom

Urofsky, Melvin I. Affirmative Action On Trial
(oral arguments and opinions in the case)

Vaca, Nicolas C. The Presumed Alliance

Wachtel , Paul. Race in the Mind of America

West, Cornell. Race Matters

Wicker, Tom.  Tragic Failure

Williams, Juan. Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure

Wilson, John Karl. The Myth of Political Correctness

Wilson, William J. The Truly Disadvantaged; When Work Disappears; The Bridge over the Racial Divide

Wood, Forrest. The Arrogance of Faith

Wood, Peter.  Diversity: The Invention of a Concept

Wu, Frank H. Yellow: Race in America, Beyond Black and White

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Featured Reviews:

Authors who have appeared in our class:

Fleisher, Mark S. Beggars and Thieves
Richard J.,  Getting Beyond Race
Wilson, John Karl. The Myth of Political Correctness

Original Interview with Lawrence Mead:

Mead, Lawrence, The New Politics of Poverty

Books that students really liked:

Kotlowitz, Alex, There Are No Children Here
Kozol, Jonathan, Amazing Grace
Richard J.,  Getting Beyond Race


Subscribing and Unsubscribing to POS334-L:

    To subscribe, unsubscribe, or to change subscription options, send the following commands (as a single line of text), TO: LISTSERV@ilstu.edu (do not send these commands to POS334-L)

Command Function 
SUBSCRIBE POS334-L Your Name to subscribe
UNSUBSCRIBE POS334-L  do not put your name here
SET POS334-L DIGEST to receive postings in a daily digest


    Messages sent to the list (POS334-L@ilstu.edu) will be automatically sent out to all subscribers. Please limit such messages to one of two formats: 1) a book review, or 2) a commentary on one or more of the reviews. As a general rule reviews should be between 1,000 and 2,500 words.

    A schedule for the book reviews is at the end of this message. It indicates the first day of a two-week period for submitting a book review. Please try to send reviews of these books within the two week time period. Reviews of books not on the schedule may be sent at any time.

    The subject field of the message should contain the word REVIEW followed by the name of the author of the book, and your last name in parentheses. e.g.:

    subject: REVIEW: Derrick Bell (Lyle)

    The discussion list archive is indexed by the message subject headings, so please adhere to the subject-field convention.

    The text of the message should begin with a full citation of the work and the name and affiliation of the reviewer and the date. A suggested format is shown below:

    (The Free Press, 1991). Reviewed by:Gary Klass


    The POS334-L aims for serious and thoughtful academic discussion, it is not a forum for stating personal opinions. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SENDING SHORT SPONTANEOUS REACTIONS TO A BOOK OR REVIEW TO THE LIST. Commentaries should be at least 100 words in length and should reflect a reading of the work or other works of the author. Note that automatic replies to messages sent from the list will normally go directly to the original sender, messages to the list must be addressed to POS334-L@ilstu.edu


    Many of these works are controversial and the subject matter concerns a topic that sometimes provokes heated exchanges in other settings. Rather than having a formal set of standards for decency and good taste, the members of the class at Illinois State will act as referees, upon majority vote of the class, I will kick anyone off the list whose messages do not contribute to its general educational purposes.

    Please remember at all times that many of the people on this list are students, that students are people, that they are trying to learn, and that they will make mistakes and say things that are wrong.


     We learn from our mistakes. It is just as important not to take offense as it is not to be offensive.

II. Book Review Schedule:

{Note: Each undergraduate student will be assigned one book from each section to review.}

Section One

Joe Feagin. Racist America
John McWhorter. Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America

Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal
Mona Charen, Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help


Section two

Eugene Robinson, Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America
Michael Eric Dyson, Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind?

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Paul Butler, Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice  ISBN-10: 1595585001

William J. Wilson, More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City
Richard Thompson Ford The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse

Section three

Fergus Bordewich, Killing the White Man's Indian
Frank H. Wu., Yellow: Race in America, Beyond Black and White

Sharon Hays Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform 
Samuel Huntington, Who Are We: The Challenges to America's National Identity

Roberto Suro, Strangers Among Us: Latino Lives in a Changing America
Jorge Ramos, The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Are Transforming Politics in America

Section four

Jonathan Kozol, The Shame of the Nation:
Richard Rothstein, Class and Schools

Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom. No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning
Dinesh D'Souza, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus

Urofsky, Melvin, Affirmative Action On Trial
Barbara A. Perry, The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases









 (Note: Each Illinois State student will be assigned one book to review from each section, and one additional book to read.  


Gary Klass, "Bringing the World into the Classroom,"
P S: Political Science and Politics XXVIII (4), 723-725. XXVIII (4), 723-725.

created by:
Gary Klass