Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke

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S. T. Joshi
Basic Books, 1999 - Political Science - 600 pages
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Most of us know something of America’s long history of racial prejudice, but it’s easy to forget the extent to which explicit racism has been, until only recently, an acceptable part of public discourse, in many cases espoused by some of the country’s most influential and public figures and bolstered by references to well-respected scientific, religious, and philosophical theories. In Documents of American Prejudice, S. T. Joshi provides an anthology of primary documents tracing the evolution of racial prejudice since early colonial times.In the more than 100 selections spanning more than 300 years of injustice, we hear the voices of both well-loved and reviled figures, from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke. They write about the supposed shortcomings of specific ethnic and racial groups and in defense of racist theories like Social Darwinism and eugenics. Included also are arguments against racism, which highlight a tradition of anti-racist writing in American history. Sobering, lively, infuriating, and provocative, this thoughtfully edited anthology shows us America’s long and tangled history of racial prejudice and helps us understand contemporary American racism through the prism of the country’s history.

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About the author (1999)

Formerly senior editor of the Literary Criticism Division at Chelsea House Publishers, S. T. Joshi is a well-known critic, editor, and author. He lives in New York City.

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