Beyond the Color Line. New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University; New York: Manhattan Institute.
Thernstrom, Abigail & Stephen Thernstrom (eds.) (2002).

A collection of 25 essays by different authors, divided in sections: "The Big Picture", "Private Lives and Public Policies", "Economics", "Law", "Education", "Politics", "One Nation, Indivisible". The authors are scholars, journalists, and activists who have specialized in their areas.

"America's changing racial and ethnic scene is the central issue of this volume" (2). Discussing the socio-political development from "the color-blind vision" to "color-consciousness" in the United States, the articles focus on racial and ethnic matters providing close observation and research findings that often shatter stereotypes, and in their diversity do not follow a particular (party) line on racial and ethnic issues. While the focus is definitely on the African-American population, Native American and Hispanic populations are also discussed, while other groups are mentioned in articles with a more general approach. Many of the articles suggest changes in public policies, supported by facts and graphs that illustrate the shifts in American society in the past thirty years. Highly critical of both socio-political attitudes and of existing laws and policies, several of the articles attempt to uncover the mask of "multiculturalism" as merely fashionable, the "the virtue of tolerance" turned into a "corruption of democratic fairness" (79), and support their viewpoint with a detailed look at the current situation.

Research on ongoing residential and educational segregation, marriage patterns, and economic status are, for example, topics covering African-American sections of the population; recent developments in Hispanic assimilation, Indian Rights, and an overview over a multitude of immigrant groups and the historical, political trends displayed in these groups, cover other sections of the US American population. A strong focus of the book is on education, and while the articles dedicated to that topic do not provide easy answers to the prevailing racial imbalances in academic achievement, all speak strongly for governmental commitment to accessible, high-quality education and education reform as the only way to ameliorate the current societal situation in the United States.

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