From Publishers Weekly
In this brief book, American University economist Bergmann makes a partially convincing defense of affirmative action, focusing on its role in the workplace rather than in university admissions or in the awarding of contracts. While she observes that affirmative action plans involve efforts at outreach and diversity training, she acknowledges that such programs "do have quotalike aspects" and claims that such goals are justifiable, at least for a certain duration. She cites evidence-from statistics and studies using equally qualified white and black "testers"-that employment discrimination remains significant and that we need a systematic program that "pushes" employers to think differently: "The purpose of affirmative action is to supply that push." She offers decent rebuttals of many opponents of affirmative action, noting that we don't have an ironclad adherence to "merit" (what about veterans' preferences?), and that affirmative action based on class rather than race wouldn't be effective. However, a true defense of the policy requires a more nuanced journalistic investigation of how it actually works.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Scientific American
Makes the most persuasive case to date for continuing the project of actively securing fair treatment for women and minorities. . . . Bergmann introduces important new evidence about how decisions to hire and promote are actually made. She resets the terms of the debate.
--This text refers to the