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Affirmative Discrimination

Affirmative Discrimination

Ethnic Inequality and Public Policy

Nathan Glazer

ISBN 9780674007307

Publication date: 01/01/1987

Should government try to remedy persistent racial and ethnic inequalities by establishing and enforcing quotas and other statistical goals? Here is one of the most incisive books ever written on this difficult issue. Nathan Glazer surveys the civil rights tradition in the United States; evaluates public policies in the areas of employment, education, and housing; and questions the judgment and wisdom of their underlying premises—their focus on group rights, rather than individual rights. Such policies, he argues, are ineffective, unnecessary, and politically destructive of harmonious relations among the races.

Updated with a long, new introduction by the author, Affirmative Discrimination will enable citizens as well as scholars to better understand and evaluate public policies for achieving social justice in a multiethnic society.


  • A tempered, factually argued, vigorous polemic against the predominant drift of public policy on racial issues… Public issues only infrequently receive serious, sustained arguments of this high order.

    —New York Times Book Review


  • Nathan Glazer was Professor of Education and Sociology, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 272 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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