Top critical review
Reasonably good content, bad presentation
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2003
Journalism essays compiled into books are dangerous propositions. Things change, the immediate is no longer immediate, and the heaping of unconnected articles together makes for disjointed and wearying repetitiveness. I wish he had taken these thoughts and composed a book exposing what he exposes. It's in there, just buried way too far down.
But those who attack this as racist are not just missing the mark, they are missing the point. The automatic tarring of anyone who questions affirmative action as racist is precisely what he is writing about. The virulent name-calling, designed not to open discussion but to close it, keeps suspicion alive on both sides. Blacks are allowed to mistrust, insult, attack, criticize, question in every way, and slander anyone they find straying too far from the party line. But why do some whites mistrust blacks? Well, if reading the piece based on an essay by bell hooks doesn't chill you, you are suffering from a terminally closed mind.
A far better book is Peter Wood's Diversity. It offers many of the same arguments, but does so in a cogent and spirited manner. Anyone who calls these authors racist does not know what the word means (though I wonder how many Americans have any idea....) So, though Horowitz is a fine writer, this is not his best work.