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Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences Hardcover – November 8, 2007

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Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences + In Defense Of Affirmative Action + Naked Racial Preference: The Case Against Affirmative Action
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; Second Edition edition (November 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594032181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594032189
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ward Connerly, the champion of California's controversial Proposition 209 outlawing racial preferences in state government, offers a compelling memoir and polemic with Creating Equal. Political figures don't often write books worth reading, but Connerly can both turn a good phrase (liberals, he says, "need to believe that Rosa Parks is still stuck in the back of the bus, even though we live in a time when Oprah is on a billboard on the side of the bus") and tell a good story (as when he describes tracking down his long-lost biological father in Louisiana). Connerly has generated strong reactions, many of them negative, ever since he burst on the scene as a University of California regent opposed to racial preferences in student admissions. Because he is black (or, more accurately, of mixed black, white, and Indian ancestry), Connerly was derisively labeled an "Uncle Tom" for his efforts. Conservatives will applaud Creating Equal, while many of Connerly's sparring partners will recognize its thoughtfulness: "Affirmative action was the kissing cousin of welfare, a seemingly humane social gesture that was actually quite diabolical in its consequences--not only causing racial conflict because of its inequities, but also validating blacks' fears of inferiority and reinforcing racial stereotypes." Moreover, Connerly's insider account of Proposition 209 (plus similar efforts in Houston and Washington state) will appeal to political junkies of all stripes. Regardless of their views on the philosophical content of Connerly's crusade, readers will find Creating Equal to be a surprisingly good book. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Connerly is one of the most maligned public figures in the United States; no one can say he is dishonest, duplicitous, or confused. His integrity fairly shines, and this causes his opponents the utmost discomfiture, for not only is he personally invulnerable, his basic argument is almost unanswerable: that Martin Luther King's dream of judging people by character and not by the color of their skin should be the public policy of the day instead of race-based affirmative action or demeaning quota systems of any kind. As Connerly reads his autobiography, one senses that he has minimized the assaults he has endured. Bitterness is there, but mostly he sticks to his main purpose, to describe how he came to be and to outline the public policy ideas and events in which he has participated for many years. His early foray into California politics is described, particularly his relationship with former governor Pete Wilson and current San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, each of whom influenced him in different ways. As a reader, Connerly is effective; his performance is straightforward and uncomplicated. His voice mirrors his ideas. A vital bit of contemporary history for any public and general academic library. - Don Wismer, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I believe that his existence will go down in history.
Doug Leone
Creating Equal is an inspiring book, about a family with a commendable and praiseworthy past who chose the path of honor, duty and country.
J. P. Ledbetter
I have actually required CREATING EQUAL to be read by social work majors who are strongly in favor of affirmative action.
S. M Marson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
From the first chapter--describing Connerly's visit to the White House to discuss race relations with Bill Clinton and Al Gore--to the last, Creating Equal is a thoroughly captivating memoir. Connerly provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes history of the battles to eliminate racial preferences in California, Houston, Tex., Washington, and Florida. Connerly's steadfastness in the face of vicious personal attacks is inspiring-a real testament to his commitment to racial progress. This commitment, we learn, is nothing new. For example, as a student at Sacramento State, Connerly learned that local landlords were refusing to rent out their apartments to minority students. In response, Connerly--despite a threat from the college president--led a massive investigation and helped bring about California's fair housing law. Politics aside, the stories from Connerly's hardscrabble childhood are poignant without being sappy--readers will love getting to know Connerly's hardworking, country-music loving Uncle James and his tough-as-nails grandmother. For people who care about the future of race relations, this cogently argued, beautifully written book is a must-read.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on December 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over my life course, I have read many books on race relations, social justice, and social inequality. Ward Connerly book's CREATING EQUAL: MY FIGHT AGAINST RACE PREFERENCES will be one of the most memorable. Why? Ward Connerly does not take the popular position.
Readers do not have to like him or his ideas to realize that Connerly is a man a great courage. He is well known and even hated for his position on affirmative action. However, reading his elegant words within CREATING EQUAL creates second thoughts among those who are strongly opposed to his ideology. Connerly lays out how his upbringing drove him to believe that Affirmative Action does more damage than good. Most of his logical positions are solid well thought out and have a great deal of merit. Nevertheless, we can find flaws in his position.
I have actually required CREATING EQUAL to be read by social work majors who are strongly in favor of affirmative action. After reading this book, ALL of them changed their position. This is not to say that all of them started to oppose affirmative action, but clearly, their positions in favor of affirmative action were softened. Reading CREATING EQUAL creates second thoughts.
To induce students to use their critical thinking skills, I often require them to read A HOPE IN THE UNSEEN immediately after reading CREATING EQUAL. Suskind, the author of A HOPE IN THE UNSEEN, chronicles the life of an African American young man's struggle to gain an education. Cedric Jennings' life provides the strongest argument for affirmative action. It is utterly fascinating to witness students synthesizing the content of these two well-written books. So, I recommend that everyone read both books - one immediately following the other.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on January 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There was a time when public figures with significant views on the great issues of the day would write pamphlets or treatises, even short books, detailing their positions. One thinks, for instance, of such writers as Thomas Paine and Alexander Hamilton at the time of the Founding, or in recent decades of Barry Goldwater's great book The Conscience of a Conservative, or William Simon's A Time for Truth. These are all polemical works, meant to argue for political positions, which, though intensely personal, are uncluttered by personality. They served an essential public service by addressing vital questions in a brief and readable form. As a result, they were widely read and quite influential.
Today, at a time when even White House pets have bestselling memoirs, these kinds of arguments are now grafted on to autobiographical texts for no discernible reason other than to exploit the current trend in publishing. It was with some trepidation then that I approached Ward Connerly's book, Creating Equal. I admire him and the battle he has waged over the past decade, but I honestly expected to skim through the typically pro forma story of his life to get to the meatier sections where he would present the intellectual case against racial preference programs. But an unexpected thing happened on the way through the boring bits; it turns out that, though much of his tale is familiar, Ward Connerly's own life experience is one of his best arguments.
As is common in American society, and only getting more so, Connerly comes of mixed racial stock : Black, White, and Native American. He is "Black" only by the terms of the ancient and racist "one drop rule" and by family tradition; in reality his race defies categorization.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Robyn Miller on March 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For any student of public policy, Creating Equal should be required reading. For anyone interested in learning how decisions are made on governing boards of higher education, this book is a must read. For anyone interested in exploring how America can make race a thing of the past, Creating Equal is insightful and highly informative. For anyone who believes that all black families are dysfunctional and incapable of surviving absent affirmative action, this book will dispel that myth. For anyone who believes that white racism is alive and flourishing or that all discrimination is gone, this book represents a hopeful, realistic and optimistic assessment. I give it a five star rating. One of the most interesting books I have ever read, even if I had disagreed with Connerly on some of his beliefs. As one reviewer said, "this is one of the best political books of the year," and perhaps of our time. I could not agree more.
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