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“A tremendously important book—gracefully done, painfully perceptive…fearless in its honesty.”
—Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities
“The most authoritative accounting I’ve seen of where our country stands in its unending quest to resolve the racial dilemma on which it was founded.”
—Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home
“The End of Anger may be the defining work on America’s new racial dynamics.”
—Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union
Ellis Cose is a venerated voice on American life. With The End of Anger, he offers readers a sharp and insightful contemporary look at the decline of black rage, the demise of white guilt, and the intergenerational shifts in how blacks and whites view and interact with each other. A new generation’s take on race and rage, The End of Anger may be the most important book dealing with race to be published in the last several decades.
Cose (The Rage of the Privileged Class), columnist and contributing editor at Newsweek, explores the newfound sense of optimism among African-Americans who in the last few years have astounded pollsters with their sanguinity despite being disproportionately targeted for predatory loans and hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Cose attributes the increase of black optimism to three factors: Barack Obama s election; "generational evolution," which sees each successive generation harboring fewer racial prejudices, suggesting that African-Americans could be facing less racism than their parents did; and the related rise of racial equality. Interviewing M.B.A.s from Harvard, dropouts with a criminal record, as well as representatives from three successive generations spanning 70 years and their white counterparts, Cose provides a paradoxical portrait of race in America, where educated, privileged blacks are optimistic about their future, but for blacks at the lower end of the economic spectrum, equality remains as elusive as ever. One in 12 African-American men are behind bars and the unemployment rate keeps rising even though it is improving for other races a dilemma not lost on an up-and-coming generation who are trying to tackle these problems at a grassroots level. Although the data and interviews want a stronger authorial voice linking them together, Cose s treatment, which matches statistics to analysis, is a refreshing, readable, and comprehensive look at race in 21st-century America.