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America in Black and White:
One Nation, Indivisible
(Touchstone 1999, Simon & Schuster 1997)

Stephan Thernstrom is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York City and the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the editor of The Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups and the author of several books, including The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis 1880-1970, which won the Bancroft Prize. full bio...

Abigail Thernstrom is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York City and a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. She is the author of Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights, which won four awards. She is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic. full bio...

America in Black and White.


America in Black and White is lucidly written, rigorously researched, and persuasively argued. On a topic that frequently divides and polarizes, Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom have elevated and enriched the national conversation. America in Black and White looks honestly at the history of American racism while also looking to a more just, cohesive, and ultimate color-blind society. But it does more than that: the Thernstroms make a compelling case for color-blind public policies as the surest route to a society where all individuals are judged on the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.”
William J. Bennett

“…The benchmark study of America’s current anguish over the race question.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A benchmark new work turns the accepted history of racial progress in America upside down.”
Tamala M. Edwards, TIME magazine

“. . . their tough-minded book serves the cause of racial justice. It shows that the issue is not whether black exceptionalism should end.  The issue is when.”  
Alan Wolfe, The New Republic

“This is a work of excellent scholarship, and one that supports, with facts, what most people really believe.”
James Q. Wilson, Commentary

“…A richly factual, rigorously analytical, profoundly humane account of the changing status of black Americans and of black-white relations since the early 1940s.” 
Kenneth S. Lynn, The American Spectator

“…[America in Black and White] promises to become the standard reference book on contemporary race relations.”
Linda Chavez, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“What distinguishes America in Black and White is its comprehensiveness: this is the Summa, the Magnum Opus…”
Roger Lane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“[America in Black and White] is in a class by itself when it comes to telling and analyzing what has been happening in this country on the racial front over the past two generations.” 
Thomas Sowell, Forbes

“…[The Thernstroms] have written the definitive account of U.S. race relations in our time.”
David Frum, Financial Post

“…Deeply researched and powerfully argued. . . . America in Black and White is a notable edition to the lengthy shelf of books dealing with contemporary race relations. . . tightly argued, richly documented, provocative book – scholarship of the highest order.” 
James Patterson, The Wilson Quarterly

“Well-written and thoughtful, the book never stoops to the exageration and bombast that plague much of the current debate on race.”
Paul Magnusson, BusinessWeek

“[America in Black and White’s] discussion of race is far more level-headed and useful than anything the president or his recently appointed commission on race has said or is likely to say.” 
Walter E. Williams, Parkerburg News