ABOUT THIS BOOK
Essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the national controversy about set-asides and other forms of affirmative action.
"I strongly recommend this book to sociologists, political scientists, politicians, and business leaders as an analysis of race relations and economic development." -- Lewis M. Killian, author of Black and White: Reflections of a White
Southern Sociologist This path-breaking study examines the accomplishments and limitations of the set-aside programs that have moved to the center of national political debate about affirmative action in the United States. Balanced yet candid, it focuses on the landmark case of Richmond v. Croson, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the city of Richmond's set-aside program, which required that thirty percent of the money in city construction contracts be awarded to minority firms. The authors describe the politics that gave rise to the set-aside program, investigate its actual operation, explore its effects, and detail responses to it in both black and white communities. They document that, while the program served important political purposes, it produced limited economic benefits for the broader African-American community, and conclude with an examination of the politics of development as an alternative to the set-aside framework that has been central to urban politics.