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What is the real story behind the fight over affirmative action at colleges? Veteran journalist Peter Schmidt exposes truths that will outrage readers and forever transform the debate. He reveals how:

* colleges use affirmative action to mask how much they cater to the country club crowd and to solicit support from the big corporations they steer minority students toward;

* conservatives have used opposition to affirmative action to advance a broader agenda that includes gutting government programs that help level the playing field;

* selective colleges reward families for shielding their children from contact with other races and classes and help perpetuate societal discrimination by favoring applicants from expensive private schools or public schools in exclusive communities;

* racial tensions like those witnessed at Duke University, the University of Michigan, and scores of other campuses in recent decades are a direct result of college admissions policies;

* affirmative-action preferences for women and minorities may have survived recent court challenges, but in much of the nation they are unlikely to survive the forces of democracy; and

* regardless of what happens with affirmative action, African Americans are going to be denied equal access to colleges for many decades to come unless American society undergoes revolutionary change.

This is a startling, brave, and thoroughly researched book that will ignite a national debate on class and education for years to come.

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