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Publisher's Summary

The African American population in the United States has always been seen as a single entity: a "Black America" with unified interests and needs. In his groundbreaking book Disintegration, longtime Washington Post journalist Eugene Robinson argues that, through decades of desegregation, affirmative action, and immigration, the concept of Black America has shattered. Now, instead of one, there are four distinct groups: a Mainstream middle-class majority with a solid stake in society; a large Abandoned minority with less hope than ever of escaping poverty; a small Transcendent elite, whose enormous wealth and power make even whites genuflect; and newly Emergent groups of mixed-race individuals and recent black immigrants who question what black even means.

Using historical research, reporting, census data, and polling, Robinson shows how these groups have become so distinct that they view each other with mistrust and apprehension. And yet all are reluctant to acknowledge division.

Disintegration shines light on crucial debates about affirmative action, the importance of race versus social class, and the ultimate questions of whether and in what form racism and the black community endure.

©2010 Eugene Robinson (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] clear-eyed and compassionate study." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Shirley
  • SAMMAMISH, WA, United States
  • 04-01-13

Thought Provoking!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It dawned on me that once we learn something, those thoughts and beliefs stay with us and we behave in life based on what we believe at that time. However, our world is constantly changing and what we thought to be true has changed without our consious awareness. This book fundamentally changed how I view "Black America". Great read and the most valued benefit to me is that I now understand my 20-30 year old children better:)

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

How our overall society views (Black America) verses how we see ourselves.

Which character – as performed by Alan Bomar Jones – was your favorite?

No one character stuck out for me. The content was so compelling that it captured all of my attention.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it was so thought provoking that I preferred to digest it a piece at a time.

Any additional comments?

Nice job, good research.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Written for Popular Consumption

This is not an academic treatment of race relations in America. Eugene Robinson is a highly regarded columnist for the Washington Post. He writes in a style that is meant for the vast majority of newspaper readers. His stories are memorable, his style engaging, his research convincing and his conclusions practical. I think this is a very important work on how far African-Americans have come in the last 40 years and what it will take to move forward the "Abandoned" class of individuals in this country. As a resident of the Washington, DC area, it was also a great bonus to get a history of many of the neighborhoods and areas in DC. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio production of this book and highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great look into an important part of America!

America as a whole should have a conversation about these topics with the purpose of creating a way ahead to solve the issues identified in this book.

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captivating and an honest look at race

totally appreciate this book...it was mind opening and a quick read. I'd suggest it to anyone looking for perspective as Mr Robinson takes an authentic look at all sides. many will be able to relate.

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one of the best I've ever read

this and find gems and steel should be required reading for everyone. ha ha ha ha ha

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A Must Read

This is a very informative book that will surely reshape the conversation, the much needed conversation among blacks in America.