The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Widely heralded as a “masterful” (The Washington Post) and “essential” (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Lawoffers “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 areas. A ground-breaking, “virtually indispensable” (Chicago Daily Observer) study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history, The Color of Law is forcing Americans to face the obligation to remedy their unconstitutional past.
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