Reviews

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Reviews and Praise


Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America

Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow
“Place Not Race is a courageous and deeply insightful contribution to our racial justice discourse, offering a perspective that is both desperately needed and long overdue.”

Benjamin Todd Jealous, former president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
“A thought-provoking look at affirmative action in America. Whether you agree or disagree with her ideas, it is an important debate for our country to have, and Place, Not Race is a critical contribution to that debate.”

Peter B. Edelman, author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America
“If you think everything possible about affirmative action has already been said, think again. Sheryll Cashin has given us a breakthrough book. America is segregated by a devastating mixture of economics and race. Why not build a policy that benefits children—of all races—who live on the wrong side of the tracks? Provocative and illuminating, Place, Not Race presents a brave new argument for bettering affirmative action in the 21st century.”

Randall Kennedy, author of For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law and Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
“Professor Sheryll Cashin has written a bold, bracing book that will generate useful controversy over competing strategies for overcoming social inequalities in America. Deeply knowledgeable about her volatile subject, she illuminates it with keen insight and vivid writing that is attractively accessible. Even those who disagree with Cashin will likely derive much value from reading her.”

Douglas S. Massey, author of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass
“As America becomes more diverse, it paradoxically finds itself increasingly stratified on the basis of place rather than race. Sheryll Cashin’s refreshing call for a new multiracial politics of inclusion is a timely and greatly needed addition to the civil rights debate, one that deserves strong support among Americans of all origins.”

The Agitator’s Daughter:

Denise Nicholas, Washington Post
“Books of family lore — part oral history, part anecdote with loads of juicy tidbits from diaries and journals, engaging old photographs, newspaper quotes and entries from the public record — serve to put meat on the bones of history. In the smoothly written ‘The Agitator’s Daughter,’ Sheryll Cashin…adds her firsthand experiences as a participant and witness to civil rights history to enliven the text with a close and often heartbreaking point of view.

Cashin’s induction into her family’s rich history came from her father, one of the prime movers and shakers in a family full of them. ‘A confident man tends to talk about himself, and Daddy is more confident than most. His confidence was my goo d fortune, though,’ she writes. ‘In talking he shared, and that was how I learned the family lore.'”
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Margo Hammond, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Sheryll Cashin’s father often bragged to his daughter that the party he founded to fight George Wallace’s racist stranglehold on Alabama politics was his birthday gift to her. The National Democratic Party of Alabama was launched, he told her, on her sixth birthday, Dec. 15, 1967. He hoped that date, which had brought him so much joy, would also prove auspicious for his new multiracial organization.

But Cashin was ambivalent about this ‘gift that I never asked for.’ Of course, she was proud. But the price of her father’s activism on her, her brothers and her mother had been ‘awfully dear.’ Besides, the oft-repeated story wasn’t even true. Dec. 15 was the date on which her father had intended to file the NDPA charter, but it actually happened a few weeks later.”

David Myers, An Amazon Customer,
“Professor Cashin’s book is a stunning achievement-moving, historically relevant and inspirational, the more so because she tells her family’s story with honesty, warts and all.”
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The Failures of Integration:

Samuel G. Freedman, New York Times Book Review
“Cashin is . . . willing to discuss the denigration of education by some black pupils, the self-destructive notion that achieving in school amounts to ‘acting white.’ She also asks the difficult but necessary questions about why public schools in the affluent black suburbs of Washington perform worse than those of neighboring, whiter communities.”
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Portland Oregonian
“[Cashin’s] overall picture of a country where people have retreated into enclaves of fear and exclusion is devastating.”

David L. Chappell, New York Times
“Sheryll Cashin . . . offers the most refreshing path away from the confusion: integration, a goal so long out of fashion that it is ripe for revival. . . . [S]he warns upwardly mobile black parents that their growing separatism is a swindle even as she sympathizes with their desire to forgo fighting for acceptance in their neighborhoods.”
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David Garrow, The Chicago Tribune
“superbly erudite and enormously thoughtful…anyone who wants to celebrate Brown’s 50th anniversary…will draw practical inspiration from Cashin…”