The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

7 CDs. 8:30 hrs. Recorded Bks. Oct. 2017. ISBN 9781501976766. $77.75. digital download. HIST
Rothstein (Grading Education) provides a new, eye-opening history of the development of American cities. His focus is on how federal, state, and local governments have structured and reinforced neighborhood segregation. Rothstein's premise is that de jure segregation (government rules, laws, and policies), not de facto segregation, promoted discrimination. Formalized, institutionalized segregation implemented by municipalities emboldened and protected localized prejudice. Also explained are how governments influenced segregated cities by using the tools of racial zoning, public housing segregation of previously mixed communities, subsidizing builders that created segregated suburbs, and supporting resistance to African Americans in white neighborhoods. Rothstein's work also helps better understand current conservative gerrymandering that created political voting districts with concentrated right-wing interests. Adam Grupper's velvety voiced, steady-paced reading helps maintain listener interest in this heavily researched, densely packed history that manages to update and make current Jane Jacobs's classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
VERDICT Essential for all university libraries supporting urban planning, law, political science, and public policy curricula. ["This indictment of government-sponsored segregation is a timely work that will find broad readership among those asking, 'How did we arrive here?' and 'What next?' ": LJ 4/1/17 starred review of the Liveright hc.]

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