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Comment: Clean pages with slight tanning and a bit of curl. Cover has sticker residue, creases and other surface and edge wear. Not ex-library.
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Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal Paperback


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Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal + White Lies: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in White Supremacist Discourse
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Rep Sub edition (May 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743238249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743238243
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author, a political science professor at Queens College in New York City, contends that whites' deep-rooted, pervasive racism against blacks has created "America's version of apartheid." Many white Americans, especially political conservatives, still harbor the prejudice that blacks are genetically inferior, he states. In an important, powerfully argued, dispassionate report that makes liberal use of tables and statistics, Hacker ( The End of the American Era ) documents racist attitudes and practices in the business sector, reveals the low percentage of blacks enrolled in colleges and exposes white racism in politics, employment practices and education and the public's perception of crime and welfare. Turning to blacks' "self-inflicted genocide" through drugs and street violence, he argues that white America shares a large measure of responsibility for this situation because it has fostered a racial chasm--a divide that seems likely to persist unless drastic steps are taken.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hacker, who teaches political science at Queens College, is author of many essays and book reviews on race and class. Here he expounds on the thesis that "America's two principal races"--blacks and whites--are as separate and unequal as ever. Using pointed anecdotes and statistics, Hacker takes the reader through the stigma blacks feel in this country, examining the subtext of everyday acts of bias on the part of whites toward blacks. He then compares sexuality, childbirth and family, income, employment, educational equity and performance, segregated schooling, and crime between the two groups, compellingly arguing that racism does underlie much of the lag that blacks experience in this society. Hacker's research covers history, philosophical writings, and census and other statistics. His discussion of other ethnic groups, however, is less successful (e.g., grouping Asians together in terms of educational performance). Nevertheless, this is necessary reading, recommended for all public and academic libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/91; see also Stud Terkel's Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession , reviewed on p. 115.--Ed.
-Christina Carter, California State Univ. Lib., Fresno
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Similarly, we get "this is what 'black' people really think" but without the disclaimer for some odd reason.
T. Stilwell
First, I would say that this book is refreshingly dispassionate and un-overheated, both qualities that have been sorely lacking in recent discussions of race.
Poniplaizy
I chose to read this book for a history course, wanting to spread my wings a bit and examine a point-of-view I don't consider often enough.
R. Lohaus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Poniplaizy on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
First, I would say that this book is refreshingly dispassionate and un-overheated, both qualities that have been sorely lacking in recent discussions of race. Also, there is plenty of truth in it--some explicitly stated, some not quite so obvious. But truth is a two-edged sword, and Mr. Hacker doesn't come clean about all of it. I think he truly believed he was presenting an objective discussion, and he actually came pretty close, but for a few caveats.

The book does a good job of showing the daily trials black people face, and includes a clever exercise that can jolt you into awareness of just how much you do value your white skin. It also talks straight about how much racism runs deep underground or happens behind the façade of political correctness, and about both sides of the slavery issue. But it runs into trouble in a few ways. First, the author theorizes that other minorities such as Asians and Jews, become "honorary whites" by virtue of their achievements. He thinks the dichotomy is white/nonwhite, but I think it's just the opposite: black/nonblack. Nobody thinks Asians or Arabs are white, but because they're not black, they get more openings and more respect than black people do.

Then there is the statistical data. In every chapter, Hacker gives plenty of it, but then explains or excuses away what the numbers say. And some of his arguments are pretty specious. He says that blacks do less well in school because the oppressive presence of whites makes them feel so hopeless they just give up before they start. Well, that's on a par with my saying that I never did well in math because the fact that there were Asian kids in my class made me feel so insecure I didn't even try.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
While Hacker uses statistics to illustrate the divide between black and white America, his book is anything but dry. Furthermore, while Hacker is an academic, he avoids the text book type of writing that many academics are known for. Two Nations is interesting, provocative and should be required reading in any class that attempts to address the problems of race in America. Although Hacker's book doesn't provide any solutions, he doesn't proport to. He is truly the foremost writer on race in America. Read Two Nations and find out why.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Carl Skutsch on June 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm amazed at some of my fellow reviewers. Hacker pickes on whites? Sucks up to blacks? Hardly.

I read the book some years ago and was very impressed. Hacker's use of statistics cuts through a lot of the rhetoric that surround the issue of race in America. I don't agree with all his conclusions--on the topic of race, none of us agree on every point--but he makes some very good points. My only complaint, actually, is the analysis is a bit light. I would have liked to see him draw some more conclusions. Still, if you want a statistical overview of race, linked with some good commentary, here's a place to start.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention I'm a white guy. Not a self-hating white guy, just a white guy. And I didn't and don't feel picked on by Hacker's book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Stilwell on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Remember the multiple choice exams with only one right choice? Remember the tweaked version with three seemingly right choices but really only one right choice? If you did well on those exams, then you can read this book. It purports to be straight-forward and serious academic scholarship but it fails in several ways.

The author is an old White liberal and makes no bones about it which adds color (no pun intended) to the study and keeps it from becoming dry but you need to keep on your toes in order to distinguish fact from conjecture. He is also an intelligent well-read university professor but beware giving him too much credit. He's an ivory tower academic used to reading tables of statistics. As my coworker used to say, if all you own is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail. The first chapter both sets and doesn't set the tone for the entire book. It sets the tone in that for purposes of expediency and let's face it, sheer laziness, the author proposes creating two buckets: white and black and putting everybody in one or the other. Even foreign students (grad and undergrad) get tossed into the blender. He then proposes speaking with one voice for the entire mix of "white" and another voice for the entire mix of "black". He then glosses over several issues within the black community that have been well documented and references several studies in order to establish credentials. Remember, all this in chapter one. Then he collects some random facts from the U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI and talks about them one by one in the remaining separate chapters. Each time, he makes observations about the facts in question but backs up none with any studies hence the references in chapter one were a ruse.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Lohaus on September 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose to read this book for a history course, wanting to spread my wings a bit and examine a point-of-view I don't consider often enough. Certainly, I am not the white man Mr. Hacker imagines all white people to be. Even if one considers himself a good person judging people on merit rather than skin color that should not be the end of the discussion. All Americans need to recognize and honestly look at the current state of race relations in our country. If we can look at things with an honest eye, we can then attempt to fix the problems that do plague race in our country.

On the other hand, this book is useless in a more practical sense and even harmful. Hacker makes innumerable blanket statements about white people (of which I am one and he is one). I get a strong sense that Mr. Hacker is experiencing transference in place of any sort of objective analysis. He claims to write about the "realities" of race relations, but make no mistake; he is telling you his personal opinion on the subject from start to finish. He weaves into the story many statistics, but you cannot find any number of statistics that can support blanket statements about the hearts of people. His analysis is highly biased, composed of many statements that cannot possibly be true. He appoints himself of the personal spokesman of white people's deepest, thoughts, feelings, and prejudices. Only on such a touchy subject is such marginal scholarship praised.

I have lived in the lower middle class all of my life and attended a school in which I was a minority. I have had black friends and got a decent view of black culture. I am not a perfect person, but I do try to keep my prejudices about a great many things under control, including race.
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