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Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, 1964-1989

Levine, Bertram

Published by University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 2005
ISBN 10: 0826215580 / ISBN 13: 9780826215581
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community ...

Publisher: University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition


First printing, full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated by the author on the front endpaper: "To M-- W-- with respect and warm affection for a true CRS colleague whose leadership within the agency reflected his unwavering view of possibilities beyond the horizon. I'm looking forward to your book. / Bert / 3/19/05." Book is unmarked; slight spine slant; corners sharp, tail of spine bumped. The dust jacket is not priced; sun-fading to small section of top edge; Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006449

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In 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, Congress wisely created an agency based in the U.S. Department of Justice to help forestall or resolve racial or ethnic disputes evolving from the act. Mandated by law and by its own methodology to shun publicity, the Community Relations Service developed self-effacement to a fine art. Thus the accomplishments, as well as the shortcomings, of this federal venture into conflict resolution are barely known in official Washington, and even less so by the American public. This first written history of the Community Relations Service uses the experiences of the men and women who sought to resolve the most volatile issues of the day to tell the fascinating story of this unfamiliar agency.

This multiracial cadre of conciliation and mediation specialists worked behind the scenes in more than 20,000 confrontations involving racial and ethnic minorities. From Selma to Montgomery, at the encampment of the Poor Peoples? Campaign in Resurrection City, to the urban riots of the sixties, seventies, and eighties, from the school desegregation battles north and south, at the siege of Wounded Knee, and during the Texas Gulf Coast fishing wars between Southeast Asian refugees and Anglos, these federal peacemakers lessened the atmosphere of racial violence in every major U.S. city and thousands of small towns.

These confrontations ranged from disputes that attracted worldwide attention to the everyday affronts, assaults, and upheavals that marked the nation?s adjustment to wider power sharing within an increasingly diverse population. While Resolving Racial Conflict examines some of the celebrated breakthroughs that made change possible, it also delves deeply into the countless behind-the-scenes local efforts that converted possibility to reality.

Among the many themes in this book that provide new perspective for understanding racial conflict in America are the effects of protest and conflict in engineering social change; the variety of civil rights views and experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics; the role of police in minority relations; and the development and refinement of techniques for community conflict resolution from seat-of-the-pants intervention to sophisticated professional practice. Resolving Racial Conflict will appeal to students of civil rights and American history in both the general and academic communities, as well as students of alternative dispute resolution and peace and conflict studies.

About the Author:


Bertram Levine, who worked in the racial/ethnic relations field for more than forty years, is the former associate director for the Community Relations Service of the United States Department of Justice.  

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