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Pad Out Your Amazon Wish List - Slate picks the best books of 2008

Publication Date: 
December 16, 2008
Dahlia Lithwick

Slate's Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick selected Professor Richard Thompson Ford's The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse as one of the best books of 2008:

Ford asks a simple question: How can claims of racism—in the courtroom, the media, and casual conversation—be so pervasive in America if so few of us are racists? His answers are provocative: Much of what we call racism is the result of racist decisions made decades ago with respect to housing, education, or urban planning. Cab drivers who refuse to pick up black men may be motivated by factors beyond racial hate—like not wanting to drop someone off in a bad part of town. The Race Card advances a debate that has been mired in reductive thinking for decades. You won't agree with Ford on everything. But you may find yourself thinking differently about everything. And that's my definition of a great book.