Tuesday, November 2, 2010

HoSang, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California

Racial Propositions:  Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California by Daniel Martinez HoSang has just been published by the University of California Press.  Here's the book description:
This book looks beyond the headlines to uncover the controversial history of California's ballot measures over the past fifty years. As the rest of the U.S. watched, California voters banned public services for undocumented immigrants, repealed public affirmative action programs, and outlawed bilingual education, among other measures. Why did a state with a liberal political culture, an increasingly diverse populace, and a well-organized civil rights leadership roll back civil rights and anti-discrimination gains? Daniel Martinez HoSang finds that, contrary to popular perception, this phenomenon does not represent a new wave of "color-blind" policies, nor is a triumph of racial conservatism. Instead, in a book that goes beyond the conservative-liberal divide, HoSang uncovers surprising connections between the right and left that reveal how racial inequality has endured. Arguing that each of these measures was a proposition about the meaning of race and racism, his deft, convincing analysis ultimately recasts our understanding of the production of racial identity, inequality, and power in the postwar era.
 And the blurbs:
"With narrative fluency and deftness, constructed on a bedrock of prodigious archival research, HoSang's book provides a sorely needed genealogy of the 'color-blind consensus' that has come to define race and recode racism within US politics, law and public policy. This will be a book that lasts."—Nikhil Pal Singh, author of Black is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy

"An important analysis of both the exact contours of white supremacy and the failures of electoral anti-racism."—George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

"Racial Propositions brilliantly documents the history of race in California's post-World War II ballot initiatives to show that nothing is what it seems when it comes to race and politics in America's ethnoracial frontier. Daniel HoSang provides readers with a sharply focused interdisciplinary lens though which to see how the language and politics of political liberalism veil what are ultimately racialized ballot initiatives. If California is a harbinger for the rest of the country, then HoSang's tour de force is required reading for anyone interested how the United States will negotiate diversity in the 21st century."—Tomás R. Jiménez, author of Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity

An excerpt is here, and more book info is here.

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