Customer Reviews: How Race Is Lived in America: Pulling Together, Pulling Apart
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on December 9, 2001
I read this for class the past semester and thought that while there are some really incredible circumstances discussed,(White quarterback, growing up multi-racial, and minority public servants) that some people were noticeably left out. Native Americans received a further blow of marginalization. (they were mentioned once as something of a prop) Also, the diversity among Black and Asian communities was very much ignored. I must say that it's obvious who the writers/editors are marketing towards in their readership, because many of the arguments continue some monolithic dialogues that haven't changed in 20+ years. Going into a work like this will take some serious analysis on the part of the reader to notice what I'm talking about, as it is written with an almost indistinguishable slant. The work has great potential for use as a teaching tool, but focus should remain on analysis rather than taking work verbatim.
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on December 4, 2014
I found this book to be interesting in the way it presented America's stories. As a minority in America, I have personally experienced the situations examined in this book. It was fun to read, and I plan to loan it to my friend and family to read also.
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on April 29, 2001
Editors & writers for The New York Times asked one central question: "What are race relations like today?" These are the raw stories & candid observations they found just below the surface of this country's private & public discourse on race relations.
That said hold onto you seat for a bumpy read about a subject that upsets most of us & still fills us with dread & hope.
There are 15 articles written by 15 very different reporters - each focusing on an aspect of race relations that speaks particularly to them. I cannot separate them here for you - suffice to write that each article will put you through your complacency paces, set your nerves ajangling & raise a host of old ghosts most of us wish would lay low.
How are race relations lived today? Very, very carefully & rather schizophrenically for the most part & for other parts? Pure, teeth-grinding swallowings of crow food, blundering inconsiderations - hell, they treat their dogs better! & hope - what a faint & fragile zephyr is hope!
While we may no longer have to storm into Cicero to demand equal rights to live in equally pleasant homes - we sure are determined to judge each other for the way we talk, about what we talk, the way we walk & to where we walk, even the way we say hello - the color of our skin may be the least of it!
In the end both photographers & reporters speak their piece about their piece & make peace with the process - their stories are as vital as the previous ones & just as telling as they tell about their own prejudices, foregone assumptions & epiphanies.
How Race Is Lived in America touches each & every one of us: from the farmer in the field watching Indians drive by on their way to a hunt he is no longer allowed to make to the dainty dames in Southern places who simply can't understand what all the fuss is about; to athletes whose prowess on the field is less than their will to survive; to best friends torn apart by the pressures of their cultures to laborers in bloody jobs whose blood all runs red & to anyone who sees others shrink away because of their skin color & what it symbolizes.
This is a keeper for it will take quite a while to think through the dust these reporters have raised! It is appropriate that a Pulitzer Prize has been awarded for this moving & troubling effort.
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on April 30, 2001
this is an insightful collection of articles for anyone wishing to gain a well-rounded and modern perspective on race issues in america. if anyone thinks the race issue is dead and buried, s/he needs to read this book! i was so impressed that i am using this in my race and ethnicity in america class at the university i am going to be teaching at next fall as a discussion starter.
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on October 17, 2009
I read this before it was published as a book, when it was a series of articles in the New York Times. The most gripping story was the one about the two friends from Cuba, and how they drifted apart in racially polarized Miami. It was such a sad story, because it touches on the human side of racism. These men were best friends in Cuba, and they left Cuba for the same reason. But in Miami, they were pulled apart by the color of their skin. The White Cuban moved right into Miami's prominent Cuban-American community, but the other, dark-skinned, became part of the Black community. He found that his fellow Cubans didn't look at him as one of their own. In Havana, he couldn't get a Cuban steak because there was no meat. But in Miami's "Little Havana" he couldn't get a Cuban steak because he wasn't welcome in Cuban restaurants!

Institutionalized racism may indeed be over in the USA, but social racism is still there. Most of the articles in this book are about racist feelings, not policies. "Who Gets to Tell a Black Story" shows how there's still cultural bias in the media, and "Which Man's Army" is about an Army platoon that is polarized by race. Some stories can be funny, like the Old Southern Belle who turns over her property, complete with slave cabbins (yes, still stading) to the Parks Dept, even dressing in period clothing as a tour guide.

I won't give this bok fours stars, because I think there's more it could cover. There was a page about Native American issues, and a paragraph about White teens who date Asian-Americans. But that was about all they got.
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on November 5, 2015
Did not read the entire book.
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on February 17, 2007
I had the opportunity to read some of the testimonials and accounts that appear in this book when they were first published as a series in the New York Times. When I read the book, I had the chance to enjoy a few narratives that I had missed. This book makes a great effort to put into focus the dynamic of race relations in America. All the stories are touching and beautifully written. The reader is not led into any specific conclusion; once you read all the stories you will have a better picture and will be able to judge where you stand pertaining race relations. I identified myself with more than one of the subjects of these stories. Congratulations to the New York Times for this momentous documentary that surely will make history. No matter which race you identify yourself with, there is something for you in this book.
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on November 24, 2014
Great read!!
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on June 9, 2002
How race is lived in america deals with the issues of race that we are still dealing with today and how race still does matter. The collection of new york times pieces deals with how race is played out. From race being a straign on frienships (a group of inter-racial friends making the transition from middle school to high school and two cuban friends-one white and one black-coming to america and facing different challenges) to race in the work place (looking at race relations at a tyson factory in north carolina to a black-white owned internet company). The book gives a rather good detail of where are in terms of race now.
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on August 11, 2002
This collage of independant stories revealed the courage of ordinary Americans doing extra-ordinary things. In each of these stories, the indiviuals challenged their own personal beliefs, and cultural and ethnic diffrences, to come together and build alliances that transcended race. This is the ideal of what true Americans are and the values of real patriotism and heroism foiled up into an amazing hardcover, that all peace-loving humanitarians should own. The NY TImes and Joseph Lelyveld, You get 2 thumbs up for this incredible work of art. My gratitude to you,
Sincerly, Malik Padgett
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