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Publisher's Summary

A prominent conservative scholar traces the post-1960s divisions between the Right and the Left, taking aim at liberals' victimization of African Americans and their failure to offer a viable way forward for American society. The United States today is hopelessly polarized; the political Right and Left have hardened into rigid and deeply antagonistic camps, preventing any sort of progress. Amid the bickering and inertia, the promise of the 1960s--when we came together as a nation to fight for equality and universal justice--remains unfulfilled.

As Shelby Steele reveals in Shame, the roots of this impasse can be traced back to that decade of protest, when in the act of uncovering and dismantling our national hypocrisies--racism, sexism, militarism--liberals internalized the idea that there was something inauthentic, if not evil, in the American character. Since then, liberalism has been wholly concerned with redeeming modern America from the sins of the past and has derived its political legitimacy from the premise of a morally bankrupt America. The result has been a half century of well-intentioned but ineffective social programs, such as Affirmative Action. Steele reveals that not only have these programs failed, but they have in almost every case actively harmed America's minorities and poor. Ultimately, Steele argues, post-'60s liberalism has utterly failed to achieve its stated aim: true equality. Liberals, intending to atone for our past sins, have ironically perpetuated the exploitation of this country's least fortunate citizens.

It therefore falls to the Right to defend the American dream. Only by reviving our founding principles of individual freedom and merit-based competition can the fraught legacy of American history be redeemed, and only through freedom can we ever hope to reach equality.

©2015 Shelby Steele (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great book.

Loved it. The most insightful book on the modern political and social state of America I have ever read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Desperately needed on our campuses.

Listening to Steele’s profound defense of development over mere inclusion and freedom over mere performance for guilty whites, I wished that the hordes of diversity and inclusion officers would lend an ear. Steele goes to depths beyond the imaginings of hucksters like Coates and Dyson and by so doing fails to provide liberal whites what they most desire: absolution for the sins of others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Graduated from Atlanta Georgia high school 1969

Mr. Steele,

History revelation. I'm recommending your book to everyone.

Thank You

Michael Connolly

Cell 602-373-1286

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Truly Excellent Look at Race in the USA (specifically Blacks)

This is an excellent look at how Liberalism since the mid-1960’s has been more about assuaging “white guilt” rather then actually helping the blacks and that it is actually a second betrayal of the American blacks (slavery/Jim Crow/White Supremacy being the first) (When I listen to Liberals speak about race relations I hear true racism at play.)

This book also it lightly touches on Steele’s journey from more radical leftist to the Conservative Camp.

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Gave Me Eyes to See

Shelby Steele gave me eyes to see not only how racism has caused our present crisis in America, but how will will get out of the mess that we are in. He discusses how Clarence Thomas struggled against "reverse racism", having been accepted to Yale based in part (who knows how large?) on affirmative action. Because of that affirmative action, he always struggled to become the jurist he knew he was in the eyes of others. All of the left's attempts at "reverse racism" have held people like Clarence Thomas down and have actually promoted the racism that they promised to alleviate. Now we have people like the Black Lives Matter folks, who are promoting the idea that America owes them reparations for the slavery that their forebears experienced in the past. Shelby Steele points out that these kinds of solutions have the appearance of being helpful, but that they effectively replace the very thing that is needed -- for blacks to rise up and take their place at the great American table. He gave me eyes to see that the solution is for blacks and whites and every other race that is in America to take America's creed to heart ("all people are created equal") and to live in such a way that their lives will be a testimony that they hope to be judged by the content of their character. He makes the point that this is exactly what blacks have done in two arenas -- music and sports. If they can do this in these areas, with other races at times trying to hold them down, then they can do this in every area. He tells me the solution is the same for them as for me -- to take indignities that I have endured in the past and to realize that I AM RESPONSIBLE to overcome these things. It helps that one of his parents is black, and thus he has the "right" to say these things, though his message is not always welcomed, as he narrates at the beginning of the book. This is a very fine book, and I would recommend that people who are looking to be challenged would listen.

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Thought provoking

Send Castec perspective! Insightful and informative. Kept me engaged and entertained while educating and challenging my perspective.

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Amazing

WOW! Thomas Sowell now has competition for being my favorite conservative. I bookmarked so many passages in this audiobook and had to constantly pause to write things down, that's how many profound insights are found in this book. Shelby Steele has some very powerful words here, transformative if you embrace them.

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  • Spirit
  • Pensacola, FL
  • 09-05-17

Is America: evil or hypocritical?

Are Americas sins of the past, and present, due to an inherent evil within America, or are these evils of oppression & slavery inherent within the human condition? Shelby argues that these sins managed to find a home in a land which promised to respect the inalienable rights owned by every human being. That America is not any more or less evil than any other first world nation, but that the civil rights movement brought this blatant hypocrisy to light. The question remains, do we abandon the principles of liberty & inalienable rights of all men because of this hypocrisy, or do we build upon the grounds gained and create an equal playing field for all races, genders & creeds?

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Great

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, so much so that I completed it in one sitting

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Great book.

Mr. Steele shares perspective I've never heard. I will study this book, and the others he refernces.

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  • Dan Luba
  • 08-31-16

An Epic Miniature Tome

A fascinating personal journey and a well crafted political history, all lazily folded into a book a Frenchman could read on his lunch break. It weaves together many strands very neatly to provide a lot of insight into the political currents of the last 70 years. I do think his ideas about feminism are a bit naive, but I guess that's not really his main concern.

This is an important book and its message needs to be taken seriously if we are to avoid the calamities that are brewing in American race relations in the modern era.

I would recommend Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" as an excellent companion to this book.

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  • Nicky Beet
  • 08-08-16

Obnoxious

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Being a totally different fair and factually accurate book would help

What could Shelby Steele have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The best thing he could have done would have been not to have written it

Would you be willing to try another one of Randall Bain’s performances?

Maybe

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Shame?

All of it.he seems to dispute that sexism racism with its police oppression and environmental destruction are a massive problem in america

Any additional comments?

America the free great and bold anointted to be that last best hope.totally rewrites history to make liberalism some kind of totalitarianism and only neo-cons are right and the vietnam war was truly heroic and the destruction of a country was done to help them(lol)
Is seriously the most absurd book i have ever heard and what one may expect of a 12yr old