THE STRUGGLE WITHIN: Race Relations in the United States by David Bowen

THE STRUGGLE WITHIN: Race Relations in the United States

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Drawing material from a course he taught entitled ""The Negro Experience in America,"" Bowen touches all the bases -- heredity vs. environment, the myths of Reconstruction, the pros and cons of black power, etc. But his method of juxtaposing racist arguments and appropriate rebuttals does not lead to in-depth analysis; oversimplifications abound: there is no racial discrimination in France, personal relationships between blacks and whites are better in the South than in the North, Kennedy's assassination (""which may or may not have been connected with his active stand on civil rights"") signalled the death of non-violence as a tactic. Like Robert Froman (p. 204, J-66) Bowen reaches an optimistic conclusion; while America is truly a racist society, segregation harmed whites as well as blacks and now that tensions have been brought out into the open, our institutions may prove flexible enough to make the U.S. ""the world's first truly interracial society."" In spite of hasty judgments here and there, Bowen builds a plausible case, but Froman digs deeper into the historical and psychological roots of racism and Dorothy Sterling gives a more thorough account of the civil rights movement in Tear Down the Walls (1968).

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Norton-Grosset & Dunlap