- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (March 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 019022925X
- ISBN-13: 978-0190229252
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 162 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class Reprint Edition
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"This is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone and everyone who is struggling to understand how and why political elites succeed, time and again, in persuading poor and working class whites to support regressive policies that are a boon for corporations but actually harm them and wreck the middle class. The answer to the riddle has far more to do with race than most want to acknowledge. But it isn't old-fashioned, malevolent racism that's to blame. No, as Haney López brilliantly and painstakingly lays bare, what is unraveling our nation is not bad people, but a stubborn refusal to deal openly and honestly with the reality of how race operates today." --Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
"Read this book to understand how dog whistle politics enables the wealth gap to stay the same and even to get worse not just for blacks or other people of color but for the white working class as well. As Haney López demonstrates, the vocabulary of race has changed. Nonetheless, race is still skillfully used to distract our attention from ongoing and pernicious disparities in economic opportunities." --Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor, Harvard Law School, and author of The Miner's Canary
"A brilliant guide to modern politics, for anyone who wants to understand how outright racist appeals morphed into the genteel rhetoric of 'states rights' and from there into today's 'defund Obamacare' -- and why Democrats too often collude in rather than repudiate dog whistle politics." --Joan Walsh, Salon.com and MSNBC, and author of What's the Matter With White People
"Grounded in history rather than theory, this is recommended to readers engaged in today's political discourse." --Library Journal
About the Author
Ian Haney López is the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. An incisive voice on white identity since the publication of his path-breaking book White by Law (1996), he remains at the forefront of conversations about race in modern America. A past visiting professor at Yale and Harvard law schools, in 2011 he was awarded the Alphonse Fletcher Fellowship, given to scholars whose work promotes the integration goals of Brown v. Board of Education.
Top customer reviews
Lopez's definition of three core components that form dog whistle politics--hate, structural racism and implicit bias--is helpful and insightful. He predictably recounts Republicans' uses of the Southern Strategy and Willie Horten to fine tune dog whistle politics. But Bill Clinton also get proper blame for using and accelerating these tactics--to his short-term advantage at the expense of the Democratic party and the American people.
His analysis of the post-racialism of the Obama years artfully laments the opportunities lost by the president and too many of his advisors and supporters to fundamentally change the public discourse when they had the chance to do so. And while Lopez sees the politics of public education as one of the next battlegrounds in dog whistle politics, I was disappointed that he did not complete the discussion in pointing out how Obama has practically led the way toward this path through the Race to the Top education policies which are Bush's No Child Left Behind program on steroids.
Another weakness in building the Lopez's argument was his omission of analysis on both the impact of David Duke and Newt Gingrich on the refinement of dog whistle politics. Duke's brief but significant time in the spotlight in the late 80s and early 90s as candidate for the U.S. Senate, elected Louisiana state representative and race for governor of Louisiana was integral to the eventual scope and strategy of dog whistle politics. This episode provided the test market for the substantively inconsequential but symbolically effective "Contract with America" that led to Gingrich's rise to the office of House speaker. Sadly, this was as important a turning point to the success of dog whistle politics as the Reagan years which Lopez does address in his discussion.
Ultimately, I would give this 3 1/2 stars, but lean toward the higher rather than the lower final rating.