According to Goff, a former intern for Sen. Hillary Clinton and campaign manager for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the black vote is becoming more elusive and unpredictable in today's political landscape. Goff's first book explores the transformation of the African-American voting bloc in the U.S. The author argues that what was once a cohesive political unit is now a diffuse coalition divided across myriad social, political and economic lines. Unlike their parents, who have historically held fast to the Democratic Party, younger African-Americans are becoming increasingly independent voters. Examining this generational split in terms of proximity to the civil rights movement, Goff finds that the bond forged between the Democratic Party and the African-American community may have lost its relevance to many younger African-Americans today. The author fleshes out several reasons for this: the split over social issues like gay marriage and abortion, the loss of cohesive, unifying leadership in the African-American community, the First Black President Bill Clinton proving a tough Democratic act to follow and the waning Democratic commitment to black churches. Goff proves herself a savvy political analyst, an adept cultural critic and a talented journalist, culling from sources as diverse as political polls, Chris Rock's standup comedy and interviews with politicians and ordinary citizens alike. She makes a persuasive argument that the black vote is becoming an imaginary concept: while Democrats take it for granted, Republicans don't bother to work for it. The result is disenfranchisement. (Mar.)
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