In this important new book, Bart Landry contributes significantly to the study of black American life and its social stratification and to the study of American middle class life in general.
Since its publication in the 1950s, E. Franklin Frazier's The Black Bourgeoisie has been the standard work on the black middle class. Landry's book on blacks in middle-class America both supplements and supercedes Frazier's work. Utilizing data he compiled in 1976 as well as 1970 and 1980 census statistics, Landry (Sociology, Univ. of Maryland) documents what he labels the ``new'' black middle class and concludes its future faces uncertain growth. He emphasizes the widening economic gap between the white and black middle class. Still, he is hopeful. Although he depends heavily on data now a decade old, he also synthesizes much of the secondary literature since Frazier. Only time and extensive scholarly appraisal will tell how this compares with Frazier's work, but it deserves serious attention. Highly recommended. Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.