Rodney King framed an eternal question of American politics when he asked: Can we all get along? The second edition of this widely acclaimed text was expanded to reflect the latest scholarship and the most recent events in Americas ongoing struggle with racial issues; the new version of the second edition has been fully updated to include results and analysis from the 1998 mid-term elections. Here, Paula McClain and Joseph Stewart combine traditional elements of political science analysis history, Constitutional theory, institutions, political behavior, and policy actors with a thoroughgoing survey of the political status of four major groups: African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and American Indians. They show similarities and differences in these groups political action and experience, and point the way toward coalition, competition, and consensus-building in the face of ongoing conflict. Two dilemmas shape the book: How do we as a nation reconcile a commitment to equality with persistent inequality and discrimination? And what can we do about it from the perspective of ethnic and racial minorities as well as within the dominant culture? Rodney King framed what might be called the enduring question of American politics from the Founding forward: Can we all get along? In a nation built by immigrants and bedeviled by the history and legacy of slavery, issues of liberty, equality, and community continue to challenge Americans. Whether we look at the Los Angeles riots, the patterns of ethnic representation in Congress, or examples of discrimination in schools, we see that getting along is intimately connected with who gets what, when, and how the traditional definition of politics.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Prologue on the 1998 Elections -- America's Dilemmas -- Resources and Status of America's Racial Minorities -- America's Racial Minorities in the Contemporary Political System: Actors -- America's Racial Minorities and the Policymaking Process -- Coalition or Competition? Patterns of Interminority Group Relations -- Will We "All Get Along"? -- Discussion Questions -- Timeline of African American Political History -- Timeline of American Indian Peoples, All Tribes and All Regions -- Timeline of Mexican Americans -- Timeline of Puerto Ricans -- Timeline of Cuban Americans -- Timeline of Asian Americans: Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, East Indians, Southeast Asians
Paula D. McClain is a professor of political science and public policy, Dean of The Graduate School, and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Duke University. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Politics, Groups and Identities, Journal of Politics, American Political Science Review, Urban Affairs Review, and The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. Jessica D. Johnson Carew is assistant professor of political science at Elon University.