Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What is Elizabeth Anderson reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Elizabeth Anderson, author of the newly released The Imperative of Integration.

Her entry begins:
I've been reading around lately in the history of egalitarianism. I'm interested not only in the history of egalitarian ideas, but in the history of the practice of equality. In that area Geoff Eley's Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000 is an amazing eye-opener. Eley narrates a history dripping with irony, inconsistency, and missed opportunities. Socialist movements in Europe started out with a strong agenda of feminism and sexual liberation. However, he documents how time and again, the Left put women's interests on the back burner in the name of advancing (male) workers' liberation first. When socialist or communist parties came close to or actually acquired power, they swiftly moved to shore up male dominance and adopted sexually conservative ideologies.

Women's issues were not the only ones drawing out...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Imperative of Integration:
"The Imperative of Integration accomplishes two important things: It demonstrates--using rigorous social scientific analysis--that racial segregation is the root cause of the continuing social disadvantage of African Americans. And it argues persuasively--using subtle philosophical reasoning--that in light of American history, a concerted effort to integrate our schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces is the only path forward consistent with a commitment to social justice. Serious students of contemporary American society will want to read this book."
--Glenn Loury, Brown University

"This book is beautifully and clearly argued at the highest philosophical level and, at the same time, attentive to social and historical realities. It offers a compelling vision of an ideal of integration that has largely been lost to view. Whether or not you agree with her, Elizabeth Anderson has staked out a position that all serious thinking about American race relations must now contend with."
--Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of The Ethics of Identity

"In The Imperative of Integration, Elizabeth Anderson expertly blends social science research, moral philosophy, and political theory to make a lucid, compelling, and impassioned case for the desegregation of American society. Decades after the passage of landmark civil rights legislation, American neighborhoods and schools remain highly segregated by race. This clear moral statement of the urgent need for integration is long overdue and should be read carefully by all Americans."
--Douglas S. Massey, coauthor of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Anderson's The Imperative of Integration, and learn more about the book from the Princeton University Press.

Elizabeth Anderson is the John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Writers Read: Elizabeth Anderson.

--Marshal Zeringue