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Barack Obama's America: How New Conceptions of Race, Family, and Religion Ended the Reagan Era (Contemporary Political and Social Issues) First Edition (US) First Printing Edition
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"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Barack Obama's America is a must read for political scholars, junkies and John or Jane Q public, thirsting for unique trend data in remarkable form.
The main problem with this book is that it relies almost entirely on secondary sources, most notably newspaper articles. The author does not seem to have strayed out of his classroom to actually talk to people himself. He also fails to delve very much into primary sources such as government reports from the Census Bureau and the many other official and academic publications he could have referenced.
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with quoting other people's reporting but total reliance can produce distortions since journalists naturally tend to write about the extraordinary and neglect the ordinary.
One example: in his chapter "Twenty First Century Faces," the author cites three articles by Washington Post reporter Anne Hull 13 times in quick succession.
In that same chapter, he repeatedly quotes books and articles by Samuel Huntington, a controversial writer who argued that Hispanic immigration threatened U.S. cultural identity.
Huntington is cited as the source for the assertion on page 63 that "Jose has replaced Michael as the most popular name for baby boys."
It took me only a few seconds to ascertain from the website of the Social Security Administration that in 2004, the year that Huntington's claim was published, the most popular boy's name was Jacob; Michael was number 2 and Jose was number 28! In 2008, Jose had fallen to 41st place.Read more ›
by Annie Laurie