Not Even Past

Not Even Past

Barack Obama and the Burden of Race

Book - 2010
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Barack Obama, in his acclaimed campaign speech discussing the troubling complexities of race in America today, quoted William Faulkner's famous remark "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past." In Not Even Past , award-winning historian Thomas Sugrue examines the paradox of race in Obama's America and how President Obama intends to deal with it.

Obama's journey to the White House undoubtedly marks a watershed in the history of race in America. Yet even in what is being hailed as the post-civil rights era, racial divisions--particularly between blacks and whites--remain deeply entrenched in American life. Sugrue traces Obama's evolving understanding of race and racial inequality throughout his career, from his early days as a community organizer in Chicago, to his time as an attorney and scholar, to his spectacular rise to power as a charismatic and savvy politician, to his dramatic presidential campaign. Sugrue looks at Obama's place in the contested history of the civil rights struggle; his views about the root causes of black poverty in America; and the incredible challenges confronting his historic presidency.

Does Obama's presidency signal the end of race in American life? In Not Even Past , a leading historian of civil rights, race, and urban America offers a revealing and unflinchingly honest assessment of the culture and politics of race in the age of Obama, and of our prospects for a postracial America.

Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010.
ISBN: 9780691137308
Branch Call Number: 973.932
Characteristics: 165 p. ; 23 cm.


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Jul 04, 2011

The book is good for the most part but I think Tim Wise in his book, "Between Barack and a Hard Place - Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama" was better at explaining that Obama's election, despite its historic nature, did not dissolve racism in America. Sugrue writes extensively about how Obama was affected by Chicago, community organizing and the Civil Rights movement. The author also provides detailed information on the state of racism. My only real quibble with the author is that he referred to President Obama as the son of an immigrant. Obama's father came to the US as a foreign student at the University of Hawaii and later, at Harvard, I believe. He did not come as an immigrant intending to live here permanently; his plan was always to return to his home country which he did.


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