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Synopsis

Black Americans continue to lag behind on many measures of social and economic well-being. Conventional wisdom holds that these inequalities can only be eliminated by eradicating racism and providing well-funded social programs. In Race, Wrongs, and Remedies, Amy L. Wax applies concepts from the law of remedies to show that the conventional wisdom is mistaken. She argues that effectively addressing today's persistent racial disparities requires dispelling the confusion surrounding blacks' own role in achieving equality. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that discrimination against blacks has dramatically abated. The most important factors now impeding black progress are behavioral: low educational attainment, poor socialization and work habits, drug use, criminality, paternal abandonment, and non-marital childbearing. Although these maladaptive patterns are largely the outgrowth of past discrimination and oppression, they now largely resist correction by government programs or outside interventions. Wax asserts that the black community must solve these problems from within. Self-help, changed habits, and a new cultural outlook are, in fact, the only effective tactics for eliminating the present vestiges of our nation's racist past. Published in cooperation with the Hoover Institution

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