A Country of Strangers is a magnificent exploration of the psychological landscape where blacks and whites meet.
Shipler bypasses both extremists and celebrities and takes us among ordinary Americans as they encounter one another across racial lines.We learn how blacks and whites see each other, how they interpret each other's behavior, and how certain damaging images and assumptions seep into the actions of even the most unbiased.
We see how whites and blacks each carry the burden of our history.Black-white stereotypes are dissected: the physical bodies that we see, the mental qualities we imagine, the moral character we attribute to others and to ourselves, the violence we fear, the power we seek or are loath to relinquish.The book makes clear that we have the ability to shape our racial landscape--to reconstruct, even if not perfectly, the texture of our relationships.
It explores the human dimensions of affirmative action, the intricate contacts and misunderstandings across racial lines among coworkers and neighbors.
It is unstinting in its criticism of our society's failure to come to grips with bigotry; but it is also, happily, crowded with black people and white people who struggle in their daily lives to do just that.A remarkable book that will stimulate each of us to reexamine and better understand our own deepest attitudes in regard to race in America.