More than half a century has passed since the publication of An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, Gunnar Myrdal's agonizing portrait of the pervasiveness of racially prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory practices in American life. Central to Myrdal's work was the paradox posed by the coexistence of race-based social, ecomic, and political inequality on the one hand, and the cherished American cultural values of freedom and equality on the other. In the five decades since the publication of this work, there has been a dramatic decline in white Americans' overt expressions of anti-black and anti-integrationist sentiments and in many of the inequalities Myrdal highlighted in his monumental work. Yet the persistence of racial antipathy is evidence of the continuing dilemma of race in American society. This collection of original essays by leading race relations experts focuses on the recent history and current state of racial attitudes in the United States. It addresses key issues and debates in the literature, and it includes chapters on the racial attitudes of African-Americans as well as whites. The volume will be of great importance to students and scholars concerned with the sociology and politics of contemporary American race relations.
STEVEN A. TUCH is Associate Professor of Sociology at The George Washington University. JACK K. MARTIN is Senior Research Scientist, Adjunct Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia. Both have written extensively on race relations and workplace issues, and they are currently co-Principal Investigators on a five-year NIAAA-funded research project investigating the factors that shape maladaptive alcohol use among African-Americans.