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Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race (The Lawrence Stone Lectures) Hardcover – May 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Distinguished civil rights historian and sociologist Sugrue (Sweet Land of Liberty) follows Barack Obama's intellectual journey and political education from his student years in the late 1970s through his first years as president, offering an insightful and fresh glimpse of Obama through three lenses—as intellectual, politician, and policy maker—and with three essays. While David Remnick's comprehensive The Bridge bears thematic similarities, Sugrue offers a pithy and readable survey of some of the same terrain—the path that rooted the rootless Hawaiian in the history of the Southern freedom struggle and the formation of his politics that favored reconciliation over confrontation. Sugrue addresses Obama's Chicago years and the evolution of his thinking on class. And the final essay assesses Obama as candidate and president. Particularly noteworthy is Sugrue's attention to Obama's post–Jeremiah Wright controversy speech in 2008 (the most learned disquisition on race from a major political figure ever) and a splendid illumination of the roles played by books (particularly the work of William Julius Wilson), by mentors (political and clerical), and by family (especially Michelle Obama's) in Obama's ascent. (June)
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From Booklist

After a year in office and in the midst of domestic and international crises, the Obama administration is struggling to define its focus and priorities. What appears out of focus is the significance of race to America's first black president. Historian Sugrue offers a three-pronged approach to contextualize the race issue. First, he focuses on Obama's own constructive memory, integrating Obama's personal and intellectual reflections on his racialized self. The second focus is on Obama's response to the truly disadvantaged, which reveals a clear recognition of the significance of race and class and politics today. Sugrue examines Obama's race speech during the presidential campaign that reflected the impulses of a more perfect union and explores major themes of racial divisions, including the moral equivalence of black anger and white backlash. The third point of Sugrue's focus is that referred to as hybridity, suggesting an alternative way for America, and Obama's emphasis on building coalitions. Clearly, Obama is biased toward race neutrality, even suggesting race avoidance, raising the question for America of what may happen when race actually does matter under this black president. --Vernon Ford
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Product Details

  • Series: The Lawrence Stone Lectures
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691137307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691137308
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas J. Sugrue is a prizewinning twentieth-century American historian who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. His newest book is These United States: A Nation in the Making, 1890 to the Present (with Glenda Gilmore). He's working on a history of real estate in modern America. Sugrue grew up in Detroit.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ambria vines on March 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I needed this particular book for my Race & Ethics class this semester and I received it within 3 days in PERFECT condition. None of the pages were marked on! I recommend!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wendy on August 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Got this for class and it's do much cheaper than buying the physical textbook
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Britt Starghill on October 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
America has engaged a very interesting epoch in history and one that is a great witness of her ability to grow from the past. This book takes the heart of the matter from the first Black President Barack Obama and how his election stokes the fires of a "new" day in this country. This book is insightful, rich, and riveting.
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