ABOUT THIS BOOK
Richard Nixon believed that history would show his administration in the forefront of civil rights progress. What does the record really say about civil rights under Nixon? In a groundbreaking new book, Dean Kotlowski offers a surprising study of an administration that redirected the course of civil rights in America.
Nixon's policymaking recast the civil rights debate from an argument over racial integration to an effort to improve the economic station of disadvantaged groups. Kotlowski examines such issues as school desegregation, fair housing, voting rights, affirmative action, and minority businesses as well as Native American and women's rights. He details Nixon's role, revealing a president who favored deeds over rhetoric and who constantly weighed political expediency and principles in crafting civil rights policy.
In moving the debate from the street to the system, Nixon set civil rights on a path whose merits and results are still debated. Nixon's Civil Rights is a revealing portrait of one of the most enigmatic figures of modern American politics and a major contribution to the study of civil rights in America.
Nixon's Civil Rights is, far and away, the best book written on the topic. It is contemporary history at its absolute finest: exhaustive research, clear prose, trenchant analysis, and shrewd judgments. Anyone interested in the Civil Rights Movement, the 1970s, and the Nixon era will find this book indispensable. A truly landmark study.
-- Douglas Brinkley, University of New Orleans
This book surpasses anything previously published on Nixon's civil rights in terms of research, including interviews with participants, and interpretation. The segment dealing with women's civil rights provides more details than any other work to date. Other aspects are equally well researched and controversial, particularly Kotlowski's analysis of Nixon's much publicized 'southern strategy.' He shows how limited in scope and short-lived this strategy actually was. His handling of Nixon's successful desegregation of southern schools, the president's approach to implementing civil rights in general, and his first two unsuccessful Supreme Court appointments is insightful and enlightening.
-- Joan Hoff, Ohio University
In this scrupulously researched investigation of his civil rights policies, Kotlowski presents a differing view of Nixon--a complex leader who listened to the advice of his knowledgeable domestic advisers...This excellent book is a worthy successor to Allen Matusow's Nixon's Economy as a skillful appraisal of Nixon's domestic policies. Highly recommended.
-- Karl Helicher Library Journal
Scholars of the Nixon presidency and of the civil rights movement have generally overlooked the Nixon administration's civil rights policies. Kotlowski's book fills this void...The book shows how Nixon moved the civil rights debate from integration to economic opportunity, from rhetoric to action, and expanded the civil rights issue to women and Native Americans, while also helping to establish the Republican Party's "southern strategy". Well-researched and persuasively argued, the book captures the intriguing if frustrating complexity that characterizes Richard Nixon and will appeal equally to Nixon lovers, loathers, and those undecided. Strongly recommended.
-- S. C. Matheson Choice
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prologue: Deeds versus Words
1. Flexible Response: Southern Politics and School Desegregation
2. Open Communities versus Forced Integration: Romney, Nixon, and Fair Housing
3. The Art of Compromise: Extending the Voting Rights Act
4. Jobs Are Nixon’s Rights Program: The Philadelphia Plan and Affirmative Action
5. Black Power, Nixon Style: Minority Businesses and Black Colleges
6. A Cold War: Nixon and Civil Rights Leaders
7. Challenges and Opportunities: Native American Policy
8. Stops and Starts: Women’s Rights
Epilogue: In the Shadow of Nixon