Review by Choice Review
This book sets forth a "new paradigm" for analyzing race in US history, claiming to uncover a "deep structure" of white racism that has framed mainstream thought, feeling, and action throughout US history. At the outset, Feagin (sociology, Texas A&M Univ.) does argue that social actors and social networks draw upon this "white frame" selectively, but in the body of the book, he provides a static and simplistic view of white racism that overlooks its complexity and ignores class differences and changes in historical context. Other recent studies of cultural racism (by Orlando Patterson, for instance) more skillfully capture white ambivalence (and the complex effects of slavery and segregation on subjected minorities) than Feagin's rather reified notions of framing and counter-framing. Clearly designed with the laudable goal of alerting white readers in the US to their racist assumptions, this book is unlikely to engage its intended audience. Feagin might argue that this is because they are operating within a white racial frame, but it may simply be because the book is reductionist and repetitive. Summing Up: Not recommended. T. D. Moodie Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.