Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wrong on Race--#50 finished

Bruce Bartlett a former advisor to Reagan and the first George Bush wrote Wrong on Race to show the racist history of the Democratic Party. It is a very interesting read and introduces quite a few political characters that I had not heard of previously. I thought the book was very effective at showing the Democratic Party's history of slave owners to KKK to Jim Crow laws to plan old white supremacists through time. The book though was weak on explaining why blacks now favor the Democratic Party, when was the real break and why.

I remember one sentence to the effect of Goldwater was against the Civil Rights Act for political reasons, but really it seems that from that point onward the Republican Party had little support from black voters. Was Goldwater's position and LBJ's Great Society together enough to make Republicans also rans in attempting to get black voters. Bartlett also mentioned though that the Republicans took black voters for granted to some degree and didn't push for legislation that they favored. This contradicts his earlier credit he gave Ike for his Civil Rights bills and for several attempts at anti-lynching bills that were filibustered under FDR and earlier presidents.

So overall a good and interesting read especially with the very racist characters that played a pretty large part in our country's politics. Not so great about explaining todays issues and concerns and the whys of black voters. Also the elephant in the room is there is no mention of Barak Obama, not that there really would have been with the book being published in Jan of '08, Obama was at time being written just a candidate who was lagging behind Hillary Clinton. It is unfortunate though because I think the election of Obama changes or would certainly influence the conclusions Bartlett has at the end of the book. I guess I should look to see what else he has written lately to see if anything of this most recent election has been addressed elsewhere.

This is a WL book on PBS by only 3 people but it has been steady at 3 for quite some time. I wanted to get it read so it could get mailed while it was still on some WL. I guess I should also mention that this is my 50th book read so far this year. As I have mentioned earlier it really is shocking to me that I have finished so many books already. Again credit goes in large part to reading several(2, 3 or even 4) books at one time, instead of as in past plodding along with only 1 book at a time. I really don't know what that end number will be for this year, but I will just keep at it.

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