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Ending Affirmative Action: The Case For Colorblind Justice Paperback – March 20, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (March 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465013899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465013890
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,236,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Racial preferences are one of the most controversial issues in American public policy. Terry Eastland offers a compelling argument for dismantling them entirely. In this cogent analysis--better presented here than in several books holding similar views--Eastland shows how bureaucratic and judicial rulings transformed the civil rights movement's noble ideal of equal opportunity for all individuals into the much more problematic goal of equal results for all groups. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Scientific American

Tightly written and tightly reasoned. [Eastland] brings into sharp focus the legal issues, the political issues, and the moral issues. . . . He not only takes on the thankless task of analyzing the principal fallacies behind affirmative action, but also explains why the attempt to remedy it must be carefully crafted.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bookloversfriend on April 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Readers looking for an impassioned tirade against racial quotas will be disappointed. Readers who are fed up with all the impassioned tirades against and all the fanatical polemics in favor of giving certain people Most Favored Race status will find this book a welcome relief.

Chapter 1 (pp. 1 - 20) makes the point that prejudice by any other name is still prejudice. It doesn't cease to be prejudice depending on which race it is directed against.

Chapter 2 (pp. 21 - 38) sketches the history of the America's insistence on no discrimination based on "race, color, creed or country of national origin."

Chapter 3 describes the about-face the nation did in the 1960s. "It is hard to find in the speeches or statements of civil rights leaders prior to the early 1960s any sustained interest in `preferential treatment' for blacks." (p. 42). In 1961, CORE, then a small splinter party, began to agitate for racial preferences. One thing that helped cause the about-face was rioting. "The traditional response to a riot had been to hold the rioting individuals responsible." (p. 44). A commission appointed by President Johnson in 1968 held that "white racism" was responsible. (p. 45). This began the now-accepted practice of holding the victims responsible for the crimes of racially ennobled individuals.

Once the crack had been opened to preferences based on factors other than skills and performance, the dam burst and many other groups were granted Most Favored Group status until by 1990 the only group not eligible for preferential treatment was white American heterosexual males.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is another in a growing wave of anti-affirmative action books. It is also one of the best.
It focuses on the twisted history of affirmative action and how the original purpose of the civil rights movement was respect for individual liberty without the "group rights" philisophy intrinsic in affirmative action.
Bureaucrats looking for short cuts and easy solutions pushed affirmative action - without democratic legislative approval. Minority groups behaved as anyone receiving a state-sponsored benefit does - they adopted the "philosophy" and began to protect their newly discovered "rights". The fact that these "rights" had no legal basis and questionable pedigree in the cast and race-obsessed systems of India, Malaysia and Yugoslavia seemed of little consequence at the time. The term "Balkanisation" (a sad relic of Old World ethnic hatred) now has a disturbing echo in the affirmative action policies of the New World.
Other reviewers may argue that affirmative action policies cannot be "unjust" because, although discriminatory, they are not designed to humiliate or alienate whites - only to benefit that amorphous group called "underrepresented minorities". The argument turns to dust when it is realised the biggest losers in the affirmative action contest are Asians. But no one wants that little secret revealed.
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By SteelerNUT3 on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book for a term paper on affirmative action. The book is ok but as with most of these books the author only tells you how every side has a good point but HIS side is the right one.
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10 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Jim Schmidt on March 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
The fatal flaw in Terry Eastland's book is his interpretation of Justice John Marshall Harlan's famous dissent in the case Plessy v. Ferguson. Indeed, this is the same flaw that can be found in the arguments many of the opponents of affirmative action.
Astonishingly, Mr. Eastland's book refers to Justice John Marshall Harlan as Justice John Paul Harlan.
Mr. Eastland argues that Justice Harlan, in his dissent in Plessy, wrote "that government should not have the authority to engage in racial regulation of any kind." Mr. Eastland uses Justice Harlan's now famous statement "Our constitution (sic) is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens" to build a case that affirmative action violates our Constitution. Mr. Eastland, along with other opponents of affirmative action is mistaken. Contrary to the assertions of Mr. Eastland affirmative action respects Justice Harlan's "color-blind" Constitution. Like other opponents of affirmative action, such as Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom who in their book, America in Black and White, have the same flaw in their argument, Mr. Eastland misunderstands Justice Harlan's dissent in Plessy.
Plessy v. Ferguson was the Supreme Court case decided in 1896 which upheld the 'separate but equal' doctrine. It was this doctrine that formed the Constitutional justification for the set of racial laws known as Jim Crow. The case arose as a result of a Louisiana law which required equal but separate accommodations aboard passenger trains for the black and white races. Justice Harlan was the only Supreme Court Justice to dissent in the Plessy case.
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Ending Affirmative Action: The Case For Colorblind Justice
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