Monday, November 26, 2007

What is Bruce Western reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Bruce Western, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Part of his entry:
By my bedside, I'm currently chewing off small chunks of Taylor Branch's Parting the Waters. This is the first volume in his monumental biography of Martin Luther King and history of the Civil Rights Movement. Parting the Waters focuses on the decade from 1954 and can be read as a case study in the life cycle of a social movement, beginning with small and local forms of protest, rooted in churches and other community social organizations. Political histories of the 1950s and 1960s now seem focused on the emergence of social movement conservatism. Together I think these two streams of writing – on the civil rights movements and on the origins of contemporary conservatism -- form parts of mosaic that tell us a lot about today's politics, and the pivotal influence of race in structuring the left-right divide. [read on]
Bruce Western is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America, a study of the growth and social impact of the American penal system. His first book, Between Class and Market, examined the development and decline of labor unions in the postwar industrialized democracies. He is currently studying the social impact of rising income inequality in the United States.

The Page 99 Test: Punishment and Inequality in America.

Writers Read: Bruce Western.

--Marshal Zeringue