A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America

David K. Shipler, Author Alfred A. Knopf $30 (607p) ISBN 978-0-394-58975-6
This timely, perceptive book coincides with the call from President Clinton for a national dialogue on better racial understanding. Pulitzer Prize-winning Shipler (Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land) brings to bear his broad experience as a journalist in interviewing people about their feelings without imposing his own views. Shipler effectively probes the attitudes dividing whites from blacks, supporting his thesis that many people don't realize when they are offending members of a different background. Shipler criticizes blacks as well as whites for viewing others through the lens of their own stereotypes. To prove his point he interviews a cross-section of Americans to explore the subtleties of bias, and he tackles the problems among groups that are frequently misunderstood: blacks who keep to themselves on college campuses, and whites who see affirmative action as a threat. He then includes experiences of married couples of mixed races, men and women in the military, interracial incidents in the workplace and encounters with the police. Shipler's book is a guide to tolerance and an antidote to stereotypical thinking. 60,000 first printing; BOMC selection. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 624 pages - 978-0-679-73454-3
Hardcover - 978-0-517-40927-5
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