Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics

Thomas B. Edsall, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-393-02983-3
In a blunt, on-target analysis of the disintegration of the liberal coalition, Washington Post reporter Edsall, writing with his wife, charges that the Republican Party since 1964 has capitalized on issues of race and taxing, pitting proponents of meritocracy against advocates of special preference. These issues, the authors point out, now intersect in the minds of the electorate with a range of domestic controversies, from drug enforcement to suburban zoning practices. The Edsalls urge Democrats to learn from voter rejection and to engage in constructive, open discussion of such problems as soaring urban-ghetto crime and illegitimacy. In order to tackle the crises of poverty, race and educational reform, they insist, both parties require a ``wrenching alteration of habit, strategy, and worldview.'' However, the book's scorecard of the last seven presidential elections is geared more to policymakers, scholars and activists than to general readers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-393-30903-4
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