Sunday, November 11, 2007

Review: Thomas Sowell's 'Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality'

A review I posted today on Amazon:

"This brief (140 pages) overview of American civil rights remains important for understanding what has gone on in the struggle to have all Americans share in the rights recognized in the Constitution.

The focus of the book is the question of rhetoric (I might have called it "intentions") and reality. In other words, what's important in the struggle for civil rights? Is it that one is rhetorically correct, with "good intentions" or is it more important that concrete individuals share in economic, social, and legal improvement in their status in life.

The book is somewhat dated, as it was published in 1984. But its overall review of civil rights in America remains unchanged. Reading it now can be considered a snapshot of where civil rights were over 2 decades ago, but the differing visions of civil rights and how to attain them has not changed. Sowell is insightful, thought-provoking, and cuts to the chase, arguing carefully about his subject. Understanding America's continued discussion of civil rights is made easier by digesting what this book has to say."

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