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Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals (American Politics and Political Economy Series)

Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals (American Politics and Political Economy Series)
Author: Donald R. Kinder - Lynn M. Sanders
ISBN 13: 9780226435749
ISBN 10: 226435741
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1996
Format: Paperback
Pages: 399
List Price: $26.00

When news of the O. J. Simpson verdict swept across the United States, a nation stood divided as blacks and whites reacted differently to the decision. Seldom has the racial division that permeates our society come so clearly and prominently into view.

Divided by Color supplies the reasons for this division, asserting that racial resentment continues to exist. Despite a parade of recent books optimistically touting the demise of racial hostility in the United States, the authors marshal a wealth of the most current and comprehensive evidence available to prove their case. Kinder and Sanders reveal that racial resentment remains the most powerful determinant of white opinion on such racially charged issues as welfare, affirmative action, school desegregation, and the plight of the inner city.

But more than a comprehensive description of American views on race, Divided by Color seeks to explain just why black and white Americans believe what they do. Kinder and Sanders analyze the critical factors that shape people's opinion on race-related issues, uncovering the relative importance of self-interest, group identity, ideological principles, as well as racial animosity. Finally, the authors explore how the racial divide has insinuated itself into the presidential election process and examine the role of political elites in framing racial issues for ordinary citizens.

The most accurate and thorough analysis of American attitudes toward race and racial policies undertaken in decades, Divided by Color is destined to become a landmark work on race in America.


A critical study of race relations in the US uniquely voicing both white and black perspectives and seeking a coherent theory of why Americans think the way they do. Kinder (political science and psychology, U. of Michigan) and Sanders (political science, U. of Chicago) present evidence that racial resentment fuels white opinion toward political issues such as welfare, and that much of this fire is fanned by self-interest, group identity, and ideological principles. In conclusion, they discuss how race functions in the presidential election process, and the role political elites play in shaping opinion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)