The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Jun 7, 2004 - Political Science - 344 pages
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Affirmative action strikes at the heart of deeply held beliefs about employment and education, about fairness, and about the troubled history of race relations in America. Published on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this is the only book available that gives readers a balanced, non-polemical, and lucid account of this highly contentious issue. Beginning with the roots of affirmative action, Anderson describes African-American demands for employment in the defense industry--spearheaded by A. Philip Randolph's threatened March on Washington in July 1941--and the desegregation of the armed forces after World War II. He investigates President Kennedy's historic 1961 executive order that introduced the term "affirmative action" during the early years of the civil rights movement and he examines President Johnson's attempts to gain equal opportunities for African Americans. He describes President Nixon's expansion of affirmative action with the Philadelphia Plan--which the Supreme Court upheld--along with President Carter's introduction of "set asides" for minority businesses and the Bakke ruling which allowed the use of race as one factor in college admissions. By the early 1980s many citizens were becoming alarmed by affirmative action, and that feeling was exemplified by the Reagan administration's backlash, which resulted in the demise and revision of affirmative action during the Clinton years. He concludes with a look at the University of Michigan cases of 2003, the current status of the policy, and its impact. Throughout, the author weighs each side of every issue--often finding merit in both arguments--resulting in an eminently fair account of one of America's most heated debates. A colorful history that brings to life the politicians, legal minds, and ordinary people who have fought for or against affirmative action, The Pursuit of Fairness helps clear the air and calm the emotions, as it illuminates a difficult and critically important issue.
  

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Contents

1 Genesis of Affirmative Action
1
2 Civil Rights Struggle and the Rise of Affirmative Action
49
3 Zenith of Affirmative Action
111
4 Backlash
161
5 Demise of Affirmative Action in the Age of Diversity
217
The Pursuit of Fairness
275
Sources
285
Notes
287
Select Bibliography
304
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Terry Anderson is Professor of History at Texas A&M University. A Vietnam veteran who has taught in Malaysia, Japan, and was a Fulbright professor in China and the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College Dublin. He is the author of numerous articles on the 1960s and Vietnam War, co-author of A Flying Tiger's Diary, and author of The Sixties; United States, Great Britain, and the Cold War, 1944-1947; and The Movement and the Sixties.

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