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Race: A History Beyond Black and White Hardcover – November 6, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1090L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689865546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689865541
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Race: a noun or a verb? To race...To compete. White Black Yellow Red Brown: A race. Human beings: the race made from all races no matter how we compete for prestige...power...raw materials...resources.
Marc Aronson in his intelligent easy to ready exploration of Race is asking questions that we all need to ponder for in reality there is only one race: against time to save ourselves from the foolishness of race hatred...race baiting...race pride. This is a book to read with your whole family to discover which side of the race you are on. -- Nikki Giovanni

About the Author

Marc Aronson is the author of the critically acclaimed Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado, winner of the ALA’s first Robert L. Sibert Information Book Award for nonfiction and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He has won the LMP Award for editing and has a Ph.D. in American history from NYU. He lives with his wife and son in Maplewood, New Jersey.

More About the Author

All of my books start with questions, and I hope they prompt readers to ask questions of their own.

I find history history endlessly fascinating. It is the detective story that yields us as the answer.

I try to write each book with the same care I would put into a novel, but with the same respect for truth as a judge in a court of law.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, the members of the General Congress of the then thirteen United States of America declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."

Did they mean it? Does anyone who says it now, that "all men are created equal," really mean it? Exactly what importance does race play in how we are treated, in how we are perceived, and in how we treat and perceive others? What, exactly, is race to begin with?

Is race defined by the color of our skin? Are we White or Black, Hispanic or Asian, Indian or Arabic? Or is race based on where our ancestors originated from? Are we Greek or Roman, Polish or European? Or, in fact, is race based on our religious beliefs? Are we Christian, Muslim, Jewish?

Marc Aronson has no clear-cut answers, and neither does science or history. The true fact of the matter is that race is a belief, and everyone believes differently. Just as racial prejudice is a learned mindset, so is how we view race. There have always been, and probably always will be, those human beings who see other humans as inferior. Although we can hope that one day prejudice will be a thing of the past, I don't think that anyone, when being completely honest with themselves, hasn't fallen victim at least once to being prejudicial to another person based on some idea of race.

RACE is a fascinating look into the history of the human belief system as regards to the teachings of race in all of its disguises, whether the color of our skin, our ethnic background, or our religion. It's a great learning tool that would be well used in classrooms or as independent study for anyone who wishes to study the matter further.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Gaggero on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book introduces the reader to the problem of race and racism throughout History. It's very well documented and underlines basic facts often neglected by more authoritative authors. The pictures are somewhat crude but they really help to fix in the reader's mind the extent of some hideous but forgotten episodes. I recommend this book to everyone, not just young readers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William F. Feus on July 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I applaud Mr. Aronson for endeavoring to write a history of racism accessible to high school students, Mr. Aronson's analysis of the role religion--particularly Christianity--has played in creating racist ideology is poorly researched and reveals the author's anti-religion bias. Racism, especially in the American experience, developed from an economic, not a religious, foundation. Mr. Aronson seeks to lay blame with organized religion, and his research--frequently secondary sources such as prominent agnostic scholars such as Karen Armstrong and Elaine Pagels--betrays a left-leaning bias. Students of this important subject are better served by viewing the PBS video "Race: The Power of an Illusion," and investigating the web-based materials related to that video,presentation, or for the ambitious, read James Huston's Calculating The Value of the Union.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Linda R. Silver on October 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author, a well-known writer and editor whose audience is primarily teens, has written a history of race and racism from the ancient world down to the present. He confines this study to race and racism in the western world. Much territory is covered, describing and analyzing what racial prejudice is, how it begins, the socio-economic factors influencing it, and its terrible consequences throughout the centuries. Despite a wealth of informative data on such topics as race and slavery, so-called racial "differences," and doctrines such as survival of the fittest, the book contains several egregious errors of interpretation. For example, Aronson attributes the ancient Israelites' belief in one God to paving the way for thousands of years of prejudice, war, and intolerance in the West. In addition, basing his argument on the tendentious New Testament gospels, he proclaims that Jesus was the first to preach the doctrine of universal love for humankind. This, of course, is contrasted with what Aronson sees as narrow Jewish particularism. His interpretation of the belief in the chosen people as exclusivity is similarly skewed. With regard to Jews, instead of revealing truths about the pernicious effects of racism, Aronson helps to perpetuate it. Very disappointing.
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