All that We Can be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way

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Basic Books, 1996 - Social Science - 198 pages
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When one thinks of those institutions in America that have been at the vanguard of social change, the U.S. Army does not spring readily to mind. And yet, over the past two decades, the Army has become the most successfully integrated institution in America - from the ranks of the lowliest privates to the highest level of command. What has made the Army's experience so striking is that this success was achieved without resort to numerical quotas or manipulation of test scores, nor has the promotion of black officers engendered the racial resentment that has become all too common in business, government, and higher education. All That We Can Be reveals how the Army created such a smoothly functioning system, how it works, and how this military model can be adapted to fit the needs of civilian society. The authors, Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, are the nation's foremost authorities on race relations in the armed forces, and together they bring more than a half-century's experience observing and analyzing how the Army gets things done. Moskos and Butler point out that what makes the Army unique is that it is the only place in America where blacks routinely boss around whites, and in this book they lay out the path by which the Army has promoted excellence across racial lines. Colin Powell is the most visible symbol of the Army's success, for his career has exemplified the guiding tenets of the Army system of merit-based recruitment, training, and promotion. There are many surprising findings in this book, especially for those who may think of the Army as a hidebound and rigidly hierarchical organization. Moskos and Butler reveal how the Army has created a transracial"Afro-Anglo" culture that fosters organizational effectiveness, and they make the point that black advancement does not depend upon the absence of racists in an organization so long as opportunity channels exist for minorities. Moskos and Butler also describe in detail the success of the Army's educational programs in developing the academic skills of underprivileged recruits - blacks and whites alikeand which could serve the needs of civilian youth as well.

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ALL THAT WE CAN BE: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A down-to-earth briefing from a team of sociologists on the US Army's achievements in affording equal opportunity to all comers, suggesting what other American institutions might learn from it. Before ... Read full review


Success StoryWith Caveats
Blacks in the Common Defense

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About the author (1996)

Charles C. Moskos is a professor of sociology at Northwestern University.

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