Boston Against Busing: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Jan 1, 2012 - Political Science - 376 pages
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Perhaps the most spectacular reaction to court-ordered busing in the 1970s occurred in Boston, where there was intense and protracted protest. Ron Formisano explores the sources of white opposition to school desegregation. Racism was a key factor, Formisano argues, but racial prejudice alone cannot explain the movement. Class resentment, ethnic rivalries, and the defense of neighborhood turf all played powerful roles in the protest.

In a new epilogue, Formisano brings the story up to the present day, describing the end of desegregation orders in Boston and other cities. He also examines the nationwide trend toward the resegregation of schools, which he explains is the result of Supreme Court decisions, attacks on affirmative action, white flight, and other factors. He closes with a brief look at the few school districts that have attempted to base school assignment policies on class or economic status.


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Boston against busing: race, class, and ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s

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Sailing in the wake of Common Ground , J. Anthony Lukas's prize-winning study of Boston's busing crisis ( LJ 8/85), Formisano focuses upon the white antibusers who, he believes, were more diverse in ... Read full review


Democracy and Segregation 19611965
Part Two The School Committee Holds the Line
Reactions to the Garrity Decision and Desegregation
Moderation and Compliance
Defended and Other Neighborhoods
Children ofthe 1960s
Reactionary Populism 9 Battlegrounds
Through the1990s

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About the author (2012)

Ronald P. Formisano is William T. Bryan Chair of American History at the University of Kentucky and author of The Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1780s-1840s

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