From Publishers Weekly
Why we are excited: Obama is a talented, charismatic politician and living proof that whites have welcomed blacks into the mainstream. Why he can't win: He's still mired in an ideology of racial victimhood and separatism that Steele (White Guilt
), a Hoover Institution fellow and, like Obama, the son of a black father and white mother, deplores in this stimulating, conservative critique. Obama's conflict over his mixed parentage and abandonment by his father, the author argues, engenders a need to prove his racial authenticity by accommodating a black identity politics that, while it energizes his African-American base, risks alienating white voters. Worse, as president Obama might reflexively support affirmative action and government initiatives to help African-Americans, instead of emphasizing the self-reliance, individual responsibility and avid assimilation that Steele contends are the only remedies for the black community's problems. The author's tendency to psychologize Obama's policy agenda sometimes overreaches. Still, the book is full of fresh insights into the cultural politics of race; Steele's analysis of Louis Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey as iconic Negroes granting moral absolution to whites, for example, is a tour de force. (Jan. 8)
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"Full of fresh insights into the cultural politics of race" ---Publishers Weekly
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