The Color of Law

The Color of Law

A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Book - 2017 | First edition
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Publishers Weekly'sNew York Times Book Review.
Publisher: New York ; London : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781631492853
Branch Call Number: 305.8009 ROTHSTEI
Characteristics: xvii, 345 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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From Library Staff

Palo Alto Reads 2020 pick! Richard Rothstein has painstakingly documented how American cities, from San Francisco to Boston, became so racially divided.

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CMLibrary_RGulledge Mar 24, 2021

There simply aren't enough words to describe how poignant this book is in regard to the current political climate. It really hones in on so many factors that continue to restrict and disadvantage BIPOC in the US and I'd consider it required reading for anyone who wants to work towards building a better, more equitable America.

As far as how it reads: it can be dry at times, however it becomes exceedingly engaging by the later chapters in which it breaks down both the various elements of inequality present in the policies of our "post-segregation" administrations despite them administering policies that largely have the veneer of helping everyone "equally", as well as what should've been done to prevent the extent of segregation that we have today. I particularly appreciate that the author addresses a variety of objections to his work at the end with very compelling arguments and doesn't shy away from uncertainties.

Definitely a worthwhile read.

Mar 04, 2021

I love that it’s a single entry for the title and not a separate entry per format. Much easier to scan and grasp the details quickly than with the current format.

Jan 07, 2021

I read up to about p 71

Dec 15, 2020

I ended up in this book by wondering about the freeways and highways on the American cities . Why are they in small towns ? How did they get the land permission to build them? And why they separate cities and towns ? Anyway this book gave me some answers and much more . It’s not an easy read though. Is very dense and it gets repetitive on some chapters.

Oct 20, 2020

great important reading you won't be sorry. such a great book.

Hillsboro_JeanineM Oct 06, 2020

Sobering! I am stunned by this book and the realization of having grown up in a country (the United States) that has essentially practiced Apartheid. In college, I became aware of Nelson Mandela and Apartheid in South Africa but I have been completely ignorant about racial injustice and enforced segregation in my own country. There's an abundance of detailed information on de jure segregation. I found it best to read a chapter then take a break as it is a lot of information to process.

Sep 24, 2020

This is a reveling and disturbing book on how mistreated were African-Americans up until now! I used to blame Southern Whites for all the ills of African-Americans. This book tells us ALL OF US are equally responsible, either as direct actors or bystanders.

I think a clever law firm can bring a Class-Action Law Suite on behalf of all African-Americans for damages of hundreds of Billions of dollars from Federal, State, City governments, Banks, Insurance Companies, developers and many more!

Aug 17, 2020

the writing, at times, can be a little dry, wonky, and dense, but this is a very good summation of the sins of our past and should be on the "must read" shelf of anyone looking to better their understanding of not just urban, but all of modern American history, especially those of us who live in such a segregated metropolis

Feb 01, 2020

When I hear a commentator like Jonah Goldberg bad-mouthing FDR’s administration, I can write it off as grousing by the losing side in America’s history of societal improvement. The Color of Law shows how the same administration promoted redlining and denied well-deserved loans in return for Southern Democrats’ support. While it’s disheartening to know how far short of our ideals we as a nation have fallen, Rothstein’s essential history shows how “we as a nation have avoided contemplating remedies because we’ve because we’ve indulged in the comfortable delusion that our segregation has not resulted primarily from state action and so, we conclude, there is not much we are required to do about it.” [p. 215] it’s good to know that liberal writers can at least own up to the shortcomings, honestly acknowledge mea culpa, and offer solutions, not merely joust with ideological windmills.

Oct 29, 2019

It makes a good case. Unfortunately, he is also realistic about the low chances for any solutions.

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