Not All Black and White: Affirmative Action, Race, and American Values

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Macmillan, Mar 4, 1998 - Business & Economics - 294 pages
Rejecting simplistic arguments for and against affirmative action, Christopher Edley, Jr., offers here a spirited, cogent analysis of one of the most vexing and contended issues in politics today. As point man for the White House review of affirmative action, Edley had extended discussions with President Clinton and other administration officials, weighing all the relevant legal and social-science evidence, public-policy developments, and private-sector practices. In this eloquent, powerful book, he does for general readers and serious voters what he did for the President, making the case for "mending, not ending, " affirmative action. Affirmative action laws are essential to the cause of social justice in this country, Edley argues, but he knows their flaws and understands their drawbacks, for both of which he suggests precise and sensible remedies. Throughout, his real focus is on the deeper reasons why we disagree, and on the moral choices about values that we all must make in thinking about race in America. His book offers a lesson in reasoning about difficult policies, and he searches for the traces of truth on all sides of the debate. Edley's own views on race are clear, but this is no polemic or brief. The author's rich discussion of the issues shows us the moral importance of thinking clearly on this subject, and teaches us what is at stake in the positions we urge our elected officials to take, and in the arguments we use to persuade one another about fairness, justice, community, and progress.

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Not all black and white: affirmative action, race, and American values

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All sides of affirmative action from the man who shaped Clinton's policy. Read full review

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