The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action

Paperback | June 15, 2005

byTerry H. Anderson

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Affirmative action strikes at the heart of deeply held beliefs about employment and education, about fairness, and about the troubled history of race relations in America. Published on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this is the only book available that gives readers abalanced, non-polemical, and lucid account of this highly contentious issue. Beginning with the roots of affirmative action, Anderson describes African-American demands for employment in the defense industry--spearheaded by A. Philip Randolph's threatened March on Washington in July 1941--and thedesegregation of the armed forces after World War II. He investigates President Kennedy's historic 1961 executive order that introduced the term "affirmative action" during the early years of the civil rights movement and he examines President Johnson's attempts to gain equal opportunities forAfrican Americans. He describes President Nixon's expansion of affirmative action with the Philadelphia Plan--which the Supreme Court upheld--along with President Carter's introduction of "set asides" for minority businesses and the Bakke ruling which allowed the use of race as one factor incollege admissions. By the early 1980s many citizens were becoming alarmed by affirmative action, and that feeling was exemplified by the Reagan administration's backlash, which resulted in the demise and revision of affirmative action during the Clinton years. He concludes with a look at theUniversity of Michigan cases of 2003, the current status of the policy, and its impact. Throughout, the author weighs each side of every issue--often finding merit in both arguments--resulting in an eminently fair account of one of America's most heated debates. A colorful history that brings to life the politicians, legal minds, and ordinary people who have fought for or against affirmative action, The Pursuit of Fairness helps clear the air and calm the emotions, as it illuminates a difficult and critically important issue.

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Affirmative action strikes at the heart of deeply held beliefs about employment and education, about fairness, and about the troubled history of race relations in America. Published on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this is the only book available that gives readers abalanced, non-polemical, and lucid account of t...

Terry Anderson is Professor of History at Texas AandM University. A Vietnam veteran who has taught in Malaysia, Japan, and was a Fulbright professor in China and the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History at University College Dublin. He is the author of numerous articles on the 1960s and Vietnam War, co-author of A Flyin...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195182456

ISBN - 13:9780195182453

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"Few books match the breadth of his story of affirmative action in the United States. Few offer so engaging a narrative voice or are capable of making a familiar story read as if it were fresh and new....Anderson skillfully weaves the story of how racism, sexism and paternalism for thedisabled come out of the common cloth of American prejudices."--Timothy J. O'Neill, Law and Politics Book Review