The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

by Richard Rothstein

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

New York Times Bestseller • Notable Book of the Year • Editors' Choice Selection

One of Bill Gates’ “Amazing Books” of the Year

One of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction

An NPR Best Book of the Year

Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction

Gold Winner • California Book Award (Nonfiction)

Finalist • Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

Finalist • Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

 


Widely heralded as a “masterful” (Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation” (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced segregation; and support for violent resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history (Chicago Daily Observer), The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631494536
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 65
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 If San Francisco, Then Everywhere? 3

2 Public Housing, Black Ghettos 17

3 Racial Zoning 39

4 "Own Your Own Home" 59

5 Private Agreements, Government Enforcement 77

6 White Flight 93

7 IRS Support and Compliant Regulators 101

8 Local Tactics 115

9 State-Sanctioned Violence 139

10 Suppressed Incomes 153

11 Looking Forward, Looking Back 177

12 Considering Fixes 195

Epilogue 215

Appendix: Frequently Asked Questions 219

Author's Note and Acknowledgments 241

Notes 253

Bibliography 293

Photograph Credits 321

Index 325

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