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The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America Paperback – January 1, 2000
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The facts of what happened to Lawrence Mungin are indisputable: demeaning work, insulting treatment, zero advancement; what is in question is why he was treated in such a way. When Mungin took his complaint to court, he claimed racial discrimination; Katten Muchin & Zavis didn't deny their mistreatment but insisted that, far from being racially motivated, it was simply the way the firm treated all its employees. Barrett, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, chronicles Mungin's life, his lawsuit, and the bitter aftermath of the trial in a book that raises more questions than it answers--questions about the American way of doing business that should trouble every American, white or black. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Barret's account of Larry Mungin's experience is fairly well written, and holds your attention well during the discrimination suit and subsequent appeal. The author is a former roommate of Mungin's, and the writing colored by his respect for him but is presented objectively enough so that this is transparent.
Barrett presents very well, though (credit to Mungin's documentation) the subtleties of treatment driven by race in the story. Finally, Barret allows the reader to make his own judgments, based on the events and the clear explanations of the legal profession and the legal system.
The book is about an African-American man, named Lawrence Mungin, who rose from his inner-city beginnings to earn double degrees from Harvard University, and practice law at some of America's most esteemed corporate law firms. Ultimately, he ends up suing a large Chicago firm for race discrimination, notwithstanding having spent his life resolutely subscribing to the belief that he was a "human being first, an American second, and a black third." The book is not only a great court room drama, but, more importantly, a poignant insight into both the obtuse management of large law firms and the opposing views of racism in middle-class America.
Among the many interesting twists in the book is that Paul Barrett was Larry Mungin's roommate at Harvard Law School. That Mr. Barrett is able to tell as objective a story as he did is as unlikely as it is instructive.
This book, I think, will come to be regarded as an important piece of work in American race-relation scholarship, for it serves as a warning that the most insidious kind of racism can sometimes be that which is the least perceptible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As one interested in the law, I really enjoyed this book. But I also found it hard to empathize with the author. Read morePublished on February 15, 2003 by Jerry Sanchez
After graduating from Harvard College, Mungin was determined to gain admission to Harvard Law School and to achieve status and wealth by gaining partnership in a big city law firm. Read morePublished on February 26, 2002 by Charles M. Wyzanski
I knew Larry and the inner workings of the firm to which he refers. His treatment was not a figment of his imagination, and the firm did not treat everyone with equal rudeness. Read morePublished on July 28, 2001
It's obvious that Larry Mungin was treated wrong at his law firm. The book details every humiliation that was dished out to him but was it old fashioned racism or was it simply... Read morePublished on June 24, 2001 by Amazon Customer
Mr. Mungin did not succeed. Why? He did not have clients. Why? He did not have a mentor. Success in the legal field is about networking. Read morePublished on June 8, 2000 by Amazon Customer
Many professional liberals believe that they (we) do not have pernicious racial prejudices. After all, if they did, would they not fail to be genuine liberals? Read morePublished on May 17, 2000 by Hanoch Sheinman
A Jewish author relates how a Jewish law firm discriminated against a Black employee, lawyer Lawrence Mungin. Read morePublished on November 25, 1999 by Harold Brewer
It is more than a little disturbing that this tale could have only been told by refraction through a white writer, but that says more about the publishing business than it does... Read morePublished on November 4, 1999
Excellent book! I have been recounting it to everyone I have talked to since finishing it. It illustrates further the divide in perception between whites/blacks. Read morePublished on July 14, 1999