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Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same (Suny Series in African American Studies) Hardcover – September, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this provocative, wide-ranging study, Robert C. Smith contends that ideological conservatism and racism are and always have been equivalent in the United States. In this carefully constructed and thoroughly documented philosophical, historical, and empirical inquiry, Smith analyzes conservative ideas from John Locke to William F. Buckley Jr., as well as the parallels between the rise and decline of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1970s and the ascendancy of the conservative movement to national power in 1980. Using archival material from the Reagan Library, the book includes detailed analysis of the Reagan presidency and race, focusing on affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act, the Grove City case, welfare reform, South Africa policy, and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same goes beyond a focus on the right wing, concluding with an analysis of the enduring impact of the conservative movement and the Reagan presidency on liberalism, race, and the Democratic Party.

About the Author

Robert C. Smith is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. He is the author of several books, including African American Leadership; We Have No Leaders: African Americans in the Post-Civil Rights Era; and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Now You See It, Now You Don't, all published by SUNY Press.

Robert C. Smith is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. He is the author of several books, including African American Leadership; We Have No Leaders: African Americans in the Post-Civil Rights Era; and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Now You See It, Now You Don't, all published by SUNY Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series in African American Studies
  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr (September 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143843233X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438432335
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,010,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the most informative book on tracing the roots of conservatism and it's connection to traditional attitudes that justify racism. The doctrine of conservatism is rooted in the concept of preserving existing institutions and Professor Smith lays out the entire background of how racism is embedded into the ideology. Conservatives never compromise their traditional values and White Supremacy is one of them. I highly recommend this if you have ever wondered why it is that so many conservatives seem to be intolerant of others. When they tried to label themselves as "compassionate conservatives" years ago, one has to wonder...why they would need to tell us that, unless they knew that they had a problem in that area with minorities.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Teater on October 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a perspective that I find pretty compelling. The author starts out with a very brief discussion of some of the philosophical antecedents of conservatism; just enough to provide support for his point of view that so called "color blind" policies are carefully crafted so as not to be overtly racist either by intent or to comport with conservative principals without regard to the effects of a given population. But his main points that many of the laws and policies are, in their effect, racist, and racism is not just the attitudes and actions of a few miscreants, but rather structural and based either overtly or almost unknowingly on white supremacy. I say unknowingly because for many whites, white privilege and dominance is so ingrained in us to be "normal" we often do not make the connections of how these conservative ideas serve to maintain the white power structure at the expense of people of color. I highly recommend this book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Subterranean Subterfuge on April 15, 2015
Format: Paperback
This book is racist.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William I. Kipp on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit from it. The author makes some very good points and substantiates them in scholarly fashion. It is slow going at times and a bit pretentious in places, but overall it's worthwhile and thought-provoking.
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ROROTOKO on January 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Conservatism and Racism" is on the ROROTOKO list of cutting-edge intellectual nonfiction. The book interview of Professor Smith ran here as the cover feature on December 6, 2010.
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