Books by Gunnar Myrdal

Released: Jan. 26, 1943

This two volume survey, undertaken through the Carnegie Corporation, should stand as long-range background material on the Negro in America. The deliberate choice of a Swedish sociologist as director of the survey was made in order to keep American bias out of the work. Five years' study were given to determine the social, political, educational and economic status, to define the opinions of different groups as to the status of the Negro, to trace changes and trends in American society in the relations between the races. He suggests the possible effect of legislation and education; he appraises the disparity between ideals and behavior, American attitudes and actions. He sees in ignorance of the facts, the major cause of "the American dilemma" (and no one could read this without realizing how many generalizations we all tend to accept about the Negro). He weighs the evidence regarding intermarriage, caste, racial beliefs, economic inequalities, Negroes in agriculture, in industry, in white collar jobs, in the armed forces. He discusses educational opportunities, health problems, housing, labor unions, war, politics, justice, religion, schools. There are brief personality sketches of negro leaders and movements. He sees in this Negro question, America's greatest failure and challenge. There is a tremendous appendix, containing source material, bibliography, etc. The market at this particular time should be wider than merely the field of Social Science. Read full book review >