Whose Votes Count?: Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights (Twentieth Century Fund Books/Reports/Studies)

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9780674951969: Whose Votes Count?: Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights (Twentieth Century Fund Books/Reports/Studies)
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The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that all citizens have the right to vote without regard to their "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." For almost a century the Fifteenth Amendment was a dead letter. Throughout the South millions of nonwhite Americans were excluded from the political process by poll taxes, literacy tests, and other devices. The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to end that injustice.

In this absorbing book, political scientist Abigail Thernstrom analyzes the radical transformation of the Voting Rights Act in the years since its passage. She shows how a measure carefully crafted to open the polling booths to southern blacks has evolved into a powerful tool for affirmative action in the electoral sphere--a means to promote black and Hispanic officeholding by creating "safe" seats for minority candidates, What began as an effort to give minorities a fair shake has become a means of ensuring a fair share.

Thernstrom demonstrates how voting rights have created a "political thicket" in which Congress, the courts, and the justice Department have been lost. Why this should be true, how small statutory changes led to large and unexpected results, how civil rights groups prevailed against a conservative Senate, how Republicans have benefited from gerrymandering to increase black officeholding--these stories are all part of Thernstrom's well-told tale.

Even though the concept of the right to vote retains an aura of moral simplicity, the issue of minority voting rights is perhaps the most complex, yet least studied, of all affirmative action issues. Whose Votes Count? should stimulate the overdue discussion that the subject deserves among all those concerned with American politics.

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Manhattan Institute scholar Abigail Thernstrom offers the best book available on minority voting rights and racial gerrymandering. Her study begins in the Jim Crow South, where blacks were routinely denied the right to vote through a sinister combination of racist intimidation and the unfair application of literacy tests. Thernstrom describes not only the urgent need for the 1965 Voting Rights Act to correct this problem, but also how amendments in the 1970s and '80s perverted this law's original purpose and turned the Voting Rights Act into a tool for race-conscious patronage politics. Although the book does not take account of the Supreme Court's most recent decisions on this subject (for an update, see chapter 16 of Thernstrom's excellent America in Black and White), it remains far and away the best on the topic.

From the Back Cover:

'Thernstrom maneuvers successfully between the civil rights ideology and the requirements of democratic politics. She sustains a strong concern for the struggles of American blacks while conceding very little to the affirmative action or electoral quota position. Exactly right.' - Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1989. Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that all citizens have the right to vote without regard to their race, color, or previous condition of servitude. For almost a century the Fifteenth Amendment was a dead letter. Throughout the South millions of nonwhite Americans were excluded from the political process by poll taxes, literacy tests, and other devices. The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to end that injustice. In this absorbing book, political scientist Abigail Thernstrom analyzes the radical transformation of the Voting Rights Act in the years since its passage. She shows how a measure carefully crafted to open the polling booths to southern blacks has evolved into a powerful tool for affirmative action in the electoral sphere--a means to promote black and Hispanic officeholding by creating safe seats for minority candidates, What began as an effort to give minorities a fair shake has become a means of ensuring a fair share. Thernstrom demonstrates how voting rights have created a political thicket in which Congress, the courts, and the justice Department have been lost. Why this should be true, how small statutory changes led to large and unexpected results, how civil rights groups prevailed against a conservative Senate, how Republicans have benefited from gerrymandering to increase black officeholding--these stories are all part of Thernstrom s well-told tale. Even though the concept of the right to vote retains an aura of moral simplicity, the issue of minority voting rights is perhaps the most complex, yet least studied, of all affirmative action issues. Whose Votes Count? should stimulate the overdue discussion that the subject deserves among all those concerned with American politics. Seller Inventory # APC9780674951969

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1989. Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that all citizens have the right to vote without regard to their race, color, or previous condition of servitude. For almost a century the Fifteenth Amendment was a dead letter. Throughout the South millions of nonwhite Americans were excluded from the political process by poll taxes, literacy tests, and other devices. The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to end that injustice. In this absorbing book, political scientist Abigail Thernstrom analyzes the radical transformation of the Voting Rights Act in the years since its passage. She shows how a measure carefully crafted to open the polling booths to southern blacks has evolved into a powerful tool for affirmative action in the electoral sphere--a means to promote black and Hispanic officeholding by creating safe seats for minority candidates, What began as an effort to give minorities a fair shake has become a means of ensuring a fair share. Thernstrom demonstrates how voting rights have created a political thicket in which Congress, the courts, and the justice Department have been lost. Why this should be true, how small statutory changes led to large and unexpected results, how civil rights groups prevailed against a conservative Senate, how Republicans have benefited from gerrymandering to increase black officeholding--these stories are all part of Thernstrom s well-told tale. Even though the concept of the right to vote retains an aura of moral simplicity, the issue of minority voting rights is perhaps the most complex, yet least studied, of all affirmative action issues. Whose Votes Count? should stimulate the overdue discussion that the subject deserves among all those concerned with American politics. Seller Inventory # APC9780674951969

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Book Description Harvard University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 330 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.0in. x 0.9in.The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees that all citizens have the right to vote without regard to their race, color, or previous condition of servitude. For almost a century the Fifteenth Amendment was a dead letter. Throughout the South millions of nonwhite Americans were excluded from the political process by poll taxes, literacy tests, and other devices. The landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to end that injustice. In this absorbing book, political scientist Abigail Thernstrom analyzes the radical transformation of the Voting Rights Act in the years since its passage. She shows how a measure carefully crafted to open the polling booths to southern blacks has evolved into a powerful tool for affirmative action in the electoral sphere--a means to promote black and Hispanic officeholding by creating safe seats for minority candidates, What began as an effort to give minorities a fair shake has become a means of ensuring a fair share. Thernstrom demonstrates how voting rights have created a political thicket in which Congress, the courts, and the justice Department have been lost. Why this should be true, how small statutory changes led to large and unexpected results, how civil rights groups prevailed against a conservative Senate, how Republicans have benefited from gerrymandering to increase black officeholding--these stories are all part of Thernstroms well-told tale. Even though the concept of the right to vote retains an aura of moral simplicity, the issue of minority voting rights is perhaps the most complex, yet least studied, of all affirmative action issues. Whose Votes Count should stimulate the overdue discussion that the subject deserves among all those concerned with American politics. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780674951969

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