Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226443393
ISBN-10: 0226443396
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$6.68 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$45.00 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
13 New from $22.00 35 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $32.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$45.00 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America
  • +
  • The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
  • +
  • Between the World and Me
Total price: $70.64
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This examination of the era after the civil rights movement can best be described by the old saying "one step forward, two steps back." Klinkner and Smith attack the widely held view that greater racial equality in the United States is preordained by the characteristics and principles of the founding fathers or the tides of history. The authors look at the circumstances that fostered black civil rights, including wars and political instability; when those factors are reduced, they argue, antiblack backlash sets in, from the Reconstruction era up to post-Reagan Republicanism. The Unsteady March is an alarmist book, but not without hope. The authors offer solutions that include increased commitment to enforcing civil rights legislation, economic parity, and reform of the criminal justice system--as well as bringing back the draft and introducing a universal national service program. --Eugene Holley Jr.

From Library Journal

Political scientists Klinkner (Hamilton Coll.) and Smith (Yale) argue that American racial progress has occurred only in ten- to 15-year bursts and then only in three specific sets of circumstances: when war required black bodies, when fighting an enemy required egalitarian rhetoric, or when domestic political protest pressured for reforms. Progress, they note, has always been followed by years of stagnation and decline, as the white elite reconsolidates its (entrenched) power, blocking reform and embracing inequalities. In other words, whether we shall overcome depends on the national will to realize classic American ideals. The authors' rigorous, exhortatory exposition promises to unsettle some readers, but, in the end, it stands with important works such as Jennifer L. Hochschild's Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation (Princeton Univ., 1995). It calls on Americans to confront the persistent black-white divide and the disparity between democratic promise and practice. Recommended for the U.S. politics, history, or race relations sections of public and academic collections.AThomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 426 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226443396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226443393
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I believe a measure of a great Historical work is one that acts as a catalyst for further inquiry. As I read "The Unsteady March" I noted other topical areas discussed which would keep me reading for several months.
This is not a dry textbook it is eminently readable. I am not suggesting this is a light read. I am saying the Authors did a remarkable job of conveying History, together with their own thesis, to create a book that should find a wide audience.
The book goes well beyond the primary premise that the progression of Civil Rights only occurs when the need for non-white assistance is needed, and for varying period of times thereafter. Examples would include the larger military conflicts this country has experienced.
What impressed me was that documentary sources were provided for the positions that the Authors espoused. There are nearly 60 pages of notes, which attest to the meticulous nature of their research.
The subject of Race is extremely complex, and unlike other works this book does not offer up stillborn utopian solutions. The reader is given a detailed walk through the history of the issue, often accompanied by riveting quotes from historical figures that will surprise, and often shock.
Another feature I found extremely useful were the occasional use of surveys that the Authors used sparingly but very effectively. The book also managed to utilize important statistical information without the obvious distortions that frequently contaminate such figures.
In the final section entitled "Shall We Overcome" the book is brought to a well thought out and organized review.
Read more ›
Comment 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This survey of the rise and decline of racial inequality in America argues that progress in racial equality has occurred only in conjunction with large-scale wars. The Unsteady March redefines civil rights events and issues, examining the historical foundations which have made racial progress possible. An unsettling survey of some hitherto-undisclosed influences on racial equality's progress.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a reason this kind of stuff isn't taught in schools today; there's a reason Ben Affleck didn't want his family history of slave ownership revealed; there's a reason for folks having to remind you that "Black Lives Matter" and, most of all, there's a reason why some folks will do ANYTHING (including going against their own beneficial interests) to preserve the institution of racism in the United States. After reading this fantastic, amazingly intriguing book, you will understand the concept of racism and how it was (and still is) used to promote and maintain the legacy of so-called "white supremacy" not only in the "stereotypical South", but across the entire country. In my opinion, most people (regardless of color) KNOW that a racial hierarchy exists in this country, particularly among black and white people. Unfortunately, most people seem to take the "that's-just-how-things-are" approach while others are just in a full-blown state of denial when it comes to acknowledging the existence of white privilege. This book is a must read and should be required reading in every American high school.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
About six months ago, Klinkner's book fell into my lap having been dropped off by my brother who knew me to be an avid reader. My initial thought was that this book was another attempt to recycle the old liberal ideas of the 60's. Liberalism, for all intents and purposes, has been discredited, relegated to the scrap heap of forgotten history-along with the Edsel, leisure suits, 8 tracks and E.S.T. Later that evening, I sat down to read the introduction. After completing the introduction, I wanted to call my brother to thank him for delivering such a find. It is imperative to read the introduction before tackling the main body of the book. Also, try not to read the book too quickly, it is better digested in small pieces. As a historical document, there is no more scholarly or analytical a treatise out there. It stablizes the argument in favor of reconsidering the issues surrounding the way we--as a country--have in the past and present continue to treat the progeny of former slaves. The issue is not reparations for the effects of slavery, but rather the institutional structures in place that perpetuate the superior/inferior relationship between Americans separated by the color of their skin. In short, if we could eliminate the current effects that became ingrained during the 300 or so years of slavery, we would gladly forego any compensation we may be arguably entitled to. This book is a must read for anyone grappling with the issues of equality-or inequality--in it's present transmuted form.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America