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Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  111 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A provocative new look at the true sources of the social scourges that are holding back black America—and an impassioned manifesto for change

Four decades after the great victories of the Civil Rights Movement secured equal rights for African-Americans, black America is in crisis. Indeed, by most measurable standards, conditions for many blacks have grown worse since 1965
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published December 29th 2005 by Gotham (first published 2005)
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Nov 07, 2009 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reflections
i read this book while working at the Dpt of Education in D.C. it was a great read at the time, because i was working in the charter schools division, specifically with a group of charters organizing around philosophies of afrocentricity.

McWhorter's basic argument is controversial amongst many black scholars-- yet echoed the ideas of the charters i was working with. McWhorter argues that there must be positive cultural reform from within the low-income black community before help from white ins
Jul 18, 2008 Josie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I clearly keep changing my mind on this book as I re engage with the topic.
Frederick Glaysher
John McWhorter. Winning the Race. MCRI[return]November 3rd, 2006[return][return]John McWhorter. Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. Gotham, 2006.[return][return]John McWhorter’s Winning the Race has a strong sociological approach to the issues of black America, surveying the history of the development of the inner cities and the welfare system, leading to the dependence that later found expression in affirmative action and racial preferences. My background being more literary i ...more
Doris Raines
I. Really. Love. This. Book. You. Are. So. Right. John. Racism. Still. Exzists. Still. We. Did. Not. Make. Our. Selves. It. Is. The. Lord. Who. Made. Us. All. Indeed. He. Seem. Please. Doris.
Sep 23, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John McWhorter writes a scary book about race. I thought Winning the Race was supposed to be the optimistic rebuttal to his own book Losing the Race, but it isn't, oh boy. McWhorter contends that the state of black America from the 1960s onward is the result of what he calls "therapeutic alienation," the result of a cultural meme created in the last years of American apartheid that's stuck around for multiple decades because it's a convenient shorthand for a peoples' experience of why they aren' ...more
Sanjay Varma
I remember the first time I realized that the information we hear may not be true. I was sixteen and I had been reading about Israel and Palestine for years. Suddenly I wondered, did Jewish people really steal Palestinian land, or did the state of Israel get founded in a way that was fair and legal? I had heard both opinions, how was I to know which was true? Naively, I went to the library and began reading, and I found that there were two totally separate versions of Israeli-Palestinian history ...more
Jesse Rine
May 05, 2014 Jesse Rine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid follow-up to his "Losing the Race". Being a college professor and a linguist, it is understandable that the book gets wordy, and could benefit from an editorial trimming to make his points stand tall.

That being said, I think McWhorter's diagnosis of the problems facing the black community (from within and without) has much to recommend it, particularly since it is a perspective that is consciously ignored and derided. Even if he is not 100% correct in all of his claims, the fact that th
The American Conservative
'Readers will recognize some of McWhorter’s themes from his previous books. Now, in Winning the Race, he targets the conventional wisdom that roots today’s black pathology primarily in past economic tribulations. For McWhorter, the roots are decidedly grounded in culture. This approach to the subject is not entirely unique and has been handled by other authors, most notably by Shelby Steele. McWhorter, however, strives to expand on why social deterioration occurred as it did.'

Read the full revie
Jul 07, 2016 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Professor McWhorter has never written a bad book, and most of his points have never been answered by his critics. He can be a tad long winded, and could use a good editor, but being a linguist by profession he certainly loves language...
Jacob O'connor
I saw John McWhorter on John Stossel's show, and I got this book expecting a libertarian take on the drug war. I wasn't at all expecting McWhorter's musings on race. Essentially, he diagnoses the social and economic inequities, among other things (like racism) as 'therapeutic alienation", or "indignation for its own sake".

I'll leave it to someone else to decide if McWhorter makes his case. For my part, he brought back some memories of my hip-hop youth and some of the neighborhoods I grew up in.
Robert Christian
Apr 19, 2010 Robert Christian rated it it was ok
Some excellent points, but he does not offer a full explanation of the topics he addresses, as he ignores far too much. His use of “meme” is a major mistake. The concept is deeply flawed and inarticulate, and the comparisons to religion are ignorant and silly.
Feb 20, 2008 Phoebe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Phoebe by: Josie
Tried twice to read this book, and failed. The writing voice was far too snarky and circular.
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Dr. John McWhorter is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He earned his B.A. from Rutgers University, his M.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. Before taking his position at the Manhattan Institute, he held teaching positions at Cornell University, where he held the position of Assistant Professor, and at the University of California, Berkele ...more
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