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American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom (3rd Edition) Paperback – February 21, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0321292377 ISBN-10: 0321292375 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 3 edition (February 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321292375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321292377
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,085,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Walton and Smith continue to provide excellent analysis of the politics and political attitudes and behaviors of African Americans.  This sixth edition expands on their analysis of the election of President Obama and what his administration might mean for Black America.  As with the other editions, this is an exceptional work and a welcomed new edition.” — Paula McClain, Duke University

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover


  • Two interrelated themes — the idea of universal freedom and the concept of minority-majority coalitions — show students the profound influence African Americans have had on American government and politics.
  • Abundant, relevant historical material enriches the story of the African American political experience and gives students the background they need to understand the evolution of race and democracy in America.
  • Often missing from similar texts, the strong behavioral component gives students a sense of the diversity of African American attitudes and behavior and introduces students to how modern political science survey research is conducted.
  • High-interest boxed features throughout the text present case studies and vignettes about important historical events, influential personalities, and contemporary issues to further engage students in the text material.
  • An abundance of tables, charts, and graphs throughout the text illustrate discussions and make concepts concrete with real-world data and examples.
  • Chapter summaries bring together for students the major themes of each chapter.
  • Includes sections on multicultural coalitions, and the growing influence of Latin and Asian American populations on American “race” politics, African American women and the quest for universal freedom, and African Americans and HIV-AIDS.


New to this Edition:



Faces and Voices of the Struggle boxed feature appearing in most chapters highlights Americans - black and white, famous and obscure - who affected the foundations of our nation and helped to universalize the quest for freedom.  Examples include Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Belafonte, John Mercer Langston, and Barack Obama.



This open-access site contains a variety of tools to help students become engaged in the ongoing quest for universal freedom. It includes links to primary sources, African American elected officials, media, think tanks, scholarly associations and interest groups.  The “In The News” section is updated regularly with ongoing issues that relate to topics in the book.


  • Full coverage and discussion of Hurricane Katrina’s effect on Americans and American politics, including the racial divide in opinion, the stereotypical media portrayal, and the responses of Congress and President Bush.  Also uses the events surrounding Katrina as a case study in bureaucratic failure.
  •  Examination of the behavior of black voters when a black Republican runs for Senate or Congress, in light of the relatively large number of blacks who ran for statewide office in 2006.
  • Expanded discussion of the prospects for rainbow coalition politics, relying on data from a recent University of Michigan survey.
  • Examination of the emerging ideological divisions and the decline of solidarity in the Congressional Black Caucus.
  • New detail on the problems and prospects of immigration as the basis of a larger minority coalition for universal freedom.
  •  Discussion on the renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
  • --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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    Customer Reviews

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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RG Mitchell on February 28, 2008
    Format: Paperback
    This book was purchased for my son, John,(a junior in college); it is a textbook for a course he is taking. He called me very excited about the book once he recieved it and started to read it. I was impressed; it is unusual to find a student excited about a textbook he/she is required to read. I give it a big thumbs up and suggested to him that he keep it for his library whether than selling it when he completes the course, he can always use it for reference purposes. Superb book!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jim on February 11, 2013
    Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
    Book was on time in great condition. Used as a text book. It works well for school cant say I would regimens as a casual read...
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    Format: Paperback
    This textbook is supposed to be giving the reader/student a perspective of the history of the African American. It would make sense for such a book to be chronologically arranged, it isn't. I think I know why, because a chronological arrangement would give the reader proof of progress, and this writer wants to give the illusion things are as bad now as ever. The text skips around in history to prove their point of disenfranchisement, instead of giving hope and a sense of pride to African Americans it makes them feel like why bother or just be angry. In every chapter the text goes from slavery to now, with bits snatched to make it sound like things are still the same, that no progress has been made.
    They also like to elude to the idea that every law that has ever been passed in the world was designed specifically just to impede the African American quest for universal equality.
    There are contradictory statements in the text, one say that congress until the 1960's refused to legislate anything to do with civil rights, then it says that Andrew Johnson was one vote from being impeached as he would not go along with the congress attempts to pass civil rights legislation. It also states that almost all U.S. presidents have been white supremacists or racists, or both. Really?
    I came away from this class just hating this book, I learned nothing I did not already know, except that the writer of this book is paranoid and racist.
    If you want to just read this book, you will not be happy as this is not a cohesive chronological line, just disconnected "facts" twisted to look like they mean something that they don't.
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