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Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America Paperback – August 7, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0195168891 ISBN-10: 0195168895

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195168895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195168891
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.8 x 5.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,126,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In his probing new book, [Graham] pulls the two topics together and concludes that immigration poses a mortal threat to existing civil-rights policy.... Graham believes the explosive growth in affirmative-action eligibility, thanks to immigration, now threatens the future of a program designed originally to empower blacks."--John J. Miller, The Wall Street Journal

"The first book to address the clash of immigration and affirmative action policies, and is long overdue."--National Review

"A concise, informative history of two much-debated policies, made richer by Graham's insight into their obvious relationship to each other."--Terry Eastland, Commentary

"Graham presents a fascinating tale of interest group politics, agency ccapture, iron triangles, strange political bedfellows, demographic shifts, and unintended consequences--and how each of these political elements weave their way through both affirmative action and immigration policy."--The Law and Politics Book Review

"There is no better guide for understanding civil rights history and politics than Hugh Davis Graham. With the broad vision, balance, and rigor that are his trademarks, Collision Course explains America's inexplicable civil rights politics at the century's turn. Boldly original, provocative, and utterly fascinating."--John D. Skrentny, University of California, San Diego, and author of The Ironies of Affirmative Action

"Combining shrewd political analysis with scholarly rigor, Hugh Graham packs more into these 200 pages than most of us could in 400. His analysis of the unanticipated interaction of immigration and affirmative action policies is tough-minded but scrupulously balanced. And by forcing us to think carefully about two issues that have been debated not only separately but irrationally, Graham helps us to understand our racial and ethnic past--and future."--Peter Skerry, Claremont McKenna College and the Brookings Institution

About the Author

The late Hugh Davis Graham was Holland N. McTyeire Professor of History and Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. An authority on contemporary political issues, he authored several books, including Civil Rights and the Presidency (O.U.P.).

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Graham was a distinguished historian and political scientist at Vanderbilt and UC Santa Barbara. Sadly, he died just as it was time to go do a book tour in promotion of Collision Course, so the book got little publicity. As an expert on Congress and the workings of the federal bureaucracy, he is able to recreate just how we managed to stumble unintentionally into the current, highly contradictory, immigration and affirmative action systems. At a time when the nation was finally intending to help African-Americans, why did it suddenly import tens of millions of low wage workers to drive blacks from many workplaces? And if affirmative action was intended as compensation for slavery and Jim Crow, why was it extended to new immigrants, even illegal ones? And what does this portend for the future, when the "racial ratio" of beneficiaries from quotas compared to those who must shoulder the burden mounts ever higher?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Murray on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why was I disappointed with this book? True, it is not a light read. Describing debates to enact laws, the laws as enacted, the agencies to enforce those laws, the pressures by lobbyist organizations to construct "satisfactory" regulations of the laws, all this can be tedious. My disappointment comes from his predictions however - Hugh Davis Graham, an expert on civil rights and immigration policy, in a book published in 2002, in his qualified, academic manner (one as interrupted as this sentence), implies the demise of affirmative action and mass immigration BECAUSE of the contradictions in the convergence of these two reform programs.
This is also a disturbing book for it illustrates how little power American citizens have over our government. Graham describes the combined effects of two major reforms of the mid-1960s - the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Immigration Reform Act of 1965.
As a consequences of these reforms, by the year 2000 some 26 million immigrants from Latin America and Asia immediately qualified for affirmative-action (hereafter AA) preferences over native-born white citizens.(p. 195) That is, foreigners of color were given preferred chances at university admissions, scholarships, jobs, promotions, small business loans, and contracts over native-born white citizens. The book was published in 2002, so today the number of foreign immigrants is even higher who receive these privileges that may be denied to American citizens. Worse, in 2012 President Obama declared his semi-amnesty for illegal aliens who arrived when they were young, are under 30, etc.
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