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Black Rednecks and White Liberals Presents insights into the history and culture of race for which Sowell has become famous. This book argues that as late as the 1940s and 1950s, poor Southern rednecks were regarded by Northern employers and law enforcement officials as lazy, lawless, and sexually immoral. Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5 315 commentaires
203 internautes sur 214 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Six powerful essays full of great information and fine analysis 1 septembre 2006
Par Craig Matteson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Yes, this title sounds provocative and I am sure some people shy away from the book because of it. But you shouldn't hesitate to get a copy of this book and read it cover to cover. It is a collection of six fine essays on the topic of race, ethnicity, historical honesty, education, and the corrupting power of political influence on each of these topics.

While I cannot recreate all the information and structure of each essay, and summarizing them in some way does them a bit of an injustice, I do want you to know why I am so enthusiastic about this book and want you to read it. The title essay, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" demonstrates that so much of the urban "black" culture is really not African in origin, but comes from the now extinct culture of northern Britain. The folks who brought their culture with them from Scotland and environs tended to settle in the South, owned slaves, and became what we call Rednecks. The slaves took on the culture of their masters and this leads to the term Sowell uses in the title.

Protecting a dysfunctional way of living because it is in some way African is not only masochistic, it is a false concept. Instead, the rejection of education and literacy, casual sexual attitudes, and the failure to structure life to prepare for the future are actually artifacts of the slave master culture (that portion of slave holders who were Rednecks, that is). Sowell contrast this reality with what is done by White Liberals to protect Urban Blacks to the detriment of those supposedly being helped.

The second essay, "Are Jews Generic" brings up the reasons why not only Jews, but other minorities around the world (Chinese emigrants, for example) have become "middlemen" and why this has led repeatedly to resentment and persecution. Hence the idea of what we too often think of as "the Jew" can be generic and applied to different minority cultures and practices. Quite an interesting article.

"The Real History of Slavery" is my favorite essay in the book. Without mitigating the horrors, sins, guilt, or suffering caused by American enslavement of Africans, Sowell puts it in a broader context. His point is to show that the notion of slavery was actually part of human culture everywhere in the world. It wasn't considered racist. That is, it wasn't until the notion of human equality was enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and the idea of human equality and freedom took hold in the West. It was then the West that used their Imperial power to destroy the slave trade to a large degree (it still exists in some Muslim countries) all over the globe. This is a very fascinating and informative essay.

"Germans and History" asks the question of whether the rise of Hitler was something built into the German culture that flowered or whether it was a freak event. Sowell demonstrates the rise of the German culture and how Germans had suffered at the hands of others over the centuries. The author concludes that Hitler was not peculiarly German, but was using global trends including the arguments put forward by the American Eugenics crowd (you know them now as Planned Parenthood) and the kind of genocide pioneered by the Ottoman Turks on the Armenians in order to gain a political plurality, seize control, and then execute his murderous plan. As Sowell notes, what is frightening is that this implies that it could arise again in another culture if the right circumstances met with another leader of Hitler's violent extremism and racial hatred.

"Black Education: Achievements, Myths, and Tragedies" is an excellent history of education priorities in various cultures, in the Slave culture, and what was done to educate the Freed Slaves (and prevent their education), and what has been done to miseducate entire generations of children in the name of desirable social ends. Sowell compares what was accomplished in Black schools like Dunbar High before Brown v. Education and what has not been accomplished since then. This is a superb essay.

The concluding essay sums up material from the previous five essays and compares what is taken from us when history is not presented honestly and is corrupted by "visions" of the past. No matter how well meaning, it damages us all because history is our cultural memory. Sowell notes: "We do not have a choice whether or not to discuss history. History has always been invoked in contemporary controversies. The only choice is between discussing what actually happened in the past and discussing notions projected into the past for present purposes." This essay is full of great material and powerful insights.

While I do recommend more books than most folks have time to read, there are a few that I urge you to read and this is one of them. Get a copy and read it closely. You will benefit from it, be challenged by aspects of it, and learn from all of it. Excellent!
530 internautes sur 570 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Once again, Sowell is at his best! 9 mai 2005
Par Blake Posey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is indeed a terriffic thesis documented with thousands of references, suggesting that the 'culture' in the South is responsible for the ghetto culture, not 'racism' alone. The reasons are due to how the Britains lived in the outskirts of England(the lawless regions) before moving into the antebellum South, carrying their anarchic, chaotic culture with them. He also details how slaves lived under the rule of their masters, and how the black culture actually had their own elite/mulatto/light skinned class that continually discriminated against the dark skinned, uneducated blacks that were woven into the cracker culture from the onset. He also compares the northern blacks to the southern blacks, showing how the northern blacks were much more educated because the 'north' had 4x more schools than the south, scored higher on tests, had a higher graduation rate, etc.

The northern region itself used discrimination methods not just against black rednecks, but to white rednecks. He notes that racism in the north started when ghetto blacks moved up north, being that the whites and blacks both were uncomfortable with the redneck culture within their community. Racism hardly existed in the north until the migration of blacks from the South after the emancipation of the slaves. He also notes that there weren't just white slaveholders. There were many black slave holders as well, notably in the southern regions of Louisiana.

In his thesis regarding the history of slavery, he notes that it was the Western civilization itself that took a stand against slavery around the world, and spent a huge amount of time and effort in order to push this ideology to free slaves from South America into Africa and throughout the world. He specifically notes that Britian was the primary force behind this movement. The Arab region and Africa both ignored emancipation of their slaves and continued to drive the slavery racket, even under pressure from Western nations. He also brings to light the fact that America was the only country that uses the black/white-slavery issue as a political based on race, even though slavery wasn't constrained to one race in other countries as well. Arabs enslaved Europeans, Asians enslaved other Asians. This happened throughout the world, and still does in some parts of Africa.

In the chapter 'Are Jews Generic' he makes the case clear that it's not just Jews that are consistently lashed out at, but there are other ethnic groups just like jews that are condemned not because of who they are, but because of how successful they are when immigrating into new societies to flourish and expand their family buisnesses. Being that some parts of the primary society at hand lag behind in economic terms, they tend to take their anger out on the small segments of society that move in and become middlemen by buying and selling goods in order to become successful from nothing. Envy drives the force of hatred among different types of ethnic groups, whether it be the Armenians, Jews, tribes from Indonesia, Asians, etc.

I have yet to get into the Black Education thesis, but had to post in regards to the rant above about how Sowell skirts the main facts of history, when the whole book is based on empirical evidence about the history of slavery and the Southern culture. Not only that, the reader that has beef with Sowell states that Sowell lashes out at the culture that participates in gang related movements, ie gangsta rap culture, etc because this behavior is not new. This type of behavior existed 200 years ago, and is just the expression of the ghetto culture that hasn't been brought out of poverty, mainly because our politicians praise this behavior as 'black culture', when in fact it originated through the redneck culture.

How can you argue against empirical evidence? Especially when you see a trend, evidence that comes from several sources?

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Vintage Sowell at his best. He compiles three decades of research into this one book.

Definently go out and buy this book!!! It's perfect to have by your side in order to counter the rhetoric used in todays political atmosphere.

Excellence.
326 internautes sur 362 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a fine work (file under "cultural studies") 9 mai 2005
Par Caswallon S. Barrios - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
My advice to naysayers - even if your perspective is crippled by being an high income person and/or a "yankee" - is to read the book. In 1989 Grady McWhiney published "Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South" and described the vast cultural divide between North and South that existed prior to the War. As any careful reader would've noticed, *all* of the stereotypes that would later be applied to African-Americans were first applied to White Southerners by Northerners. This is a reality. And the Civil War taught us, if nothing else, that the South was - in the emerging industrial world - an anachronism. Thomas Sowell takes these observations as his point of departure. I can imagine that the people who'll most take offense at the book are caucasian, elitist, self-styled "liberals" who want to maintain *their* static, monolithic idea of "Black Culture" as some kind of museum piece. This is an articulate, searching text that goes well beyond the traditional Liberal/Conservative ping-pong.
59 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Absolute Eye Opener - Everyone should read this book especially African-Americans" 23 décembre 2005
Par A knight of the Lion of Judah - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Thomas Sowell should be commended for the extensive research he has done. "Black Rednecks, White Liberals" and "History of Vision" had the most profound impact on me.

As a black child growing up, I was consistently criticized by other blacks for not behaving in what they felt was true black culture. Now I have further confirmation that those kids were truly misguided and such situations demonstrate the danger of people not being cognizant of history. It would be one thing if Thomas Sowell were just writing information without any empirical evidence, however, he lists all of his sources and there are many.

I believe leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Maxine Waters, and Charles Rangel need to read and acknowledge the truth that has been outlined in "History of Vision". Sowell explains perfectly how people are so addicted to their vision that they are willing to ignore hard facts or twist them to make their vision valid. This is a man more blacks should be listening too and not the demagogues aforementioned.

His essays are long and people who aren't into history may have a hard time getting through the chapters. However, it's still worth the read, and I plan to read Sowell's other books he's written.
37 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Reality-based Essays about Race and Ethnicity from An Atypical Angle 1 octobre 2005
Par Edward J. Vasicek - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Thomas Sowell is undoubtedly one of America's great intellectual treasures. Sowell offers an alternate explanation (compared to the politically-correct party line) about the lot of African Americans as well as beliefs about the Jewish and German peoples. He does this via 6 essays.

His first essay, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" is first in placement and priority. Sowell postulates that the "redneck" culutre actually originated in Ireland, Scotland, and the northern regions of England at a time when those areas were anything but civil and stable. This violent culture was carried across the sea to our southern states (partly because the northerners refused them permission to settle up north). This became the "redneck culture" that dominated the south even before the Civil War, characterized by lack of discipline, out-of-wedlock births, violence, and taking pride in ignorance.

Sowell argues that the Black value system is essentially the "red neck" value system, and that Black language is essentially "red neck" language. Whereas the Irish and Scottish left their uncultured lifestyles behind, and whereas most southerners have done the same, this "red neck" culture is not only propigated in the Black community, it is celebrated. But, Sowell points out, embracing the values of that culture sabotages any attempt to rise within society. Fasicinating and extensively documented thoughts!

The second essay, "Are Jews Generic?" analyzes the blessings and plights of society's "middlemen." Great reading.

The third essay is a fascinating one about "The Real History of Slavery." Sowell tells us that slavery was practiced on every continent, toward every race, and that it was the West which put an end to it around the globe.

His chapter on "Germans and History" is a fair assessment of what happened during the Nazi years and the plight of scattered ethnic Germans after WWII. A must read.

Sowell's firth essay is titled, "Black Education: Achievements, Myths, and Tragedies." Sowell is wise enough to ask the simple question, "Why do educators refuse to look at the success stories of Black education and model programs after them?"

His last essay, "History versus Visions" talks about the rewriting of history and in many ways refers back to the first essay.

Whether you agree completely with Sowell or not, you will probably find this book thought provoking, extremely reasoned, tediously documented, and interesting to read. Sowell is a brilliant man who is capable of noting the obvious. Great work!
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