• Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

A new edition of a celebrated contemporary work on race and racism

Praised by a wide variety of people from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Zadie Smith, Racecraft “ought to be positioned,” as Bookforum put it, “at the center of any discussion of race in American life.”

Most people assume racism grows from a perception of human  difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism.  Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue  otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through  what they call “racecraft.” And this phenomenon is intimately entwined  with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the  devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics,  and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes  unnoticed.

That the promised post-racial age has not dawned, the  authors argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate  language for thinking about and discussing inequality. That failure  should worry everyone who cares about democratic institutions.
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