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In a call for a fundamental reconsideration of racial inequality in America, the standard dichotomy of liberal and conservative policies is dismissed in favor of genuine interracial acceptance and self-accountability.
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Loury is said to be a black neoconservative, but the 26 articles in this collection disclose no hardline free marketeer hell-bent on abolishing welfare, affirmative action, and other so-called liberal sacred cows. Rather, they show us a man of reason, conscience, common sense, and love. Whether addressing his professional peers (academic economists) with scholarly scrupulousness, speaking frankly to social activists, or recounting his own experiences of racial oppression and Christian rebirth, Loury affirms only what he has found by research, action, or careful reflection to be true. Writing on black-Jewish relations, black victimization as a social identity, economic inequities, modern liberalism and racism, and his other primary topics in this book, he is cogent because of his analytic ability (best displayed in a theoretical article on political correctness), compelling because of the intelligence with which he argues for acknowledging religion as a force in public affairs and personal behavior in order to successfully deal with the problems of racism and poverty. Loury's work expresses some of the very best thinking about race in the U.S. Ray OlsonFrom Publishers Weekly:
Loury, a prominent black neoconservative, is at his best in this collection as a critic, ably confronting authors such as Cornel West ("sloganeering"), Andrew Hacker ("conspiracy theory") and Derrick Bell ("opinion in the guise of a morality tale.") His more substantive essays make a few worthwhile, if not new, points: blacks should avoid one-note politics, and they too often embrace victimhood. Though Loury shows concern for the black poor, his vague solution of self-help?"religious, civic, and voluntary efforts of all sorts"?is sloganeering that should be fleshed out by reportage and analysis. In an epilogue Loury recounts?somewhat gingerly, given his professorial emphasis on personal morality?his "born again" spiritual journey, which rescued him from his own descent into drug and alcohol dependence. He now teaches economics at Boston University.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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