The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

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Liveright Publishing, May 2, 2017 - Social Science - 368 pages

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction)
Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

 

Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

This is a solid contribution to documentation of the black experience in America. I would add it to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, Douglas Blackmon's Slavery By Another Name, and Ari Berman's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dougcornelius - LibraryThing

The book, although perhaps not a true believer, accepts the legal standard that there is a constitutional obligation to remedy the effects of government sponsored segregation, but not a constitutional ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
If San Francisco then Everywhere?
Public Housing Black Ghettos
Racial Zoning
Own Your Own Home
Private Agreements Government Enforcement
White Flight
IRS Support and Compliant Regulators
Suppressed Incomes
Looking Forward Looking Back
Considering Fixes
Epilogue
Frequently Asked Questions
Authors Note and Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography

Local Tactics
StateSanctioned Violence

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About the author (2017)

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

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