Racecraft Paperback by Barbara J. Fields and Karen E. Fields

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Racecraft Paperback by Barbara J. Fields and Karen E. Fields

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Verso (2022-02-01)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9781839765643
  • Item Weight: 289.17 grams
  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 5.5 x 0.81 cm

A new edition of a celebrated contemporary work on race and racism

Praised by a wide variety of people from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Zadie Smith, Racecraft “ought to be positioned,” as Bookforum put it, “at the center of any discussion of race in American life.”

Most people assume racism grows from a perception of human  difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism.  Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue  otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through  what they call “racecraft.” And this phenomenon is intimately entwined  with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the  devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics,  and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes  unnoticed.

That the promised post-racial age has not dawned, the  authors argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate  language for thinking about and discussing inequality. That failure  should worry everyone who cares about democratic institutions.

About the Author

Barbara J. Fields is Professor of History at Columbia University. Her books include the prize-winning Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century; The Destruction of Slavery (coauthored with the Freedmen and Southern Society Project); and Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War.

Karen E. Fields is Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for African and African American Research at Duke University. Her books include a translation of Emile Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life. She is at work on Racism in the Academy: A Traveler’s Guide and Bordeaux’s Africa.


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