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All That We Can Be: Black Leadership And Racial Integration The Army Way

All That We Can Be: Black Leadership And Racial Integration The Army Way
Author: Charles Moskos - John Sibley Butler
ISBN 13: 9780465001132
ISBN 10: 465001130
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 1997-08-23
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
List Price: $18.00

In a fascinating study of how the Army became the premier model for developing black leadership in a racially integrated setting, Moskos and Butler show how this system works and how it can be applied throughout American society.

Publishers Weekly

The authorsa white sociologist and a black one, both former drafteesoffer a solid analysis of how the army became the best-integrated institution in this country. "The Army is not race-blind, it is race-savvy," they declare; its nods to multiculturalism, according to Moskos and Butler, are subordinated to an overriding goal of combat-readiness, while its affirmative-action programs do not lower standards for blacks but train them to meet army standards. Moreover, they say, because of racial mixing, many white soldiers have become attuned to black culture (music, religion, etc.), even as black soldiers have adapted to the service's "white" history. The authors also note that black political leaders, many of them clergy, lack empathy for the many blacks in military service. Among their conclusions: an emphasis on banning racist expression (as on campuses) is far less vital than expanding black opportunity; affirmative action must be linked to pools of qualified candidates, and should be geared to blacks (who suffer the greatest stigma), not other minorities. They argue that the only way to replicate the equalizing effect of the military is to institute national civilian service for youth, which could bring together people of diverse backgrounds, serve as a "bridging program" for the disadvantaged and offer post-service education benefits. It's an intriguing proposal, but a politically volatile one that some may consider ominous. (Sept.)