Ben's Reviews > Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White

Affirmative Action by Tim Wise
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's review
Jun 13, 2008

did not like it
Recommended for: no one, really
Read in May, 2008

This pro-affirmative-action book was well-reviewed, but I found it pretty much a waste of time. In general, a lot of very well researched statistics are spent in taking cheap shots at straw men.

Wise also throws around phrases like "the right" (meaning, I assume, some faceless amalgamation of all those who disagree with his politics), and uses a lot of ironic quotation marks when he talks about affirmative action opponents who present "facts" and "proofs" in support of their positions. This sarcastic and distracting tone made it difficult to follow what arguments there were in the text.

Clearly Wise is passionate about his subject, but if he hopes to be convincing he needs to focus less on angrily debunking the crazy things some people say and more on building a solid foundation for his own position.

This is a book best enjoyed by people who already believe strongly in the value of affirmative action; for them, it will no doubt be an (ahem) affirmation. For reasonable opponents or those seeking a convincing argument, this book will be a disappointment.


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