Sunday, August 9, 2009



Choice (American Library Association) recently named Race and Liberty in America one of its "Significant Titles for Undergraduates, 2008-2009."

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (formerly Black Issues in Higher Education) recommended Race and Liberty in America as one of five books that share the following in common: "accessible writing, combined with clear thinking that defies the common wisdom on some controversial subjects and makes them highly readable for study or pleasure."

"Best Of" radio interview: my interview with Tony Cox (NPR/African American News Consortium) was rebroadcast as a "Best Of" interview on February 18. See link below for that radio interview and others.

John Stossel interview on Fox Business (January 2012) available here.

To purchase Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, go to Amazon ($22.45). You can also buy it here at The Independent Institute.

MEDIA PRESS KIT (author available for interviews): Click here
For my resume (as of January 2012), click here

Since the July book release I've done many radio shows. One of my favorite hours was spent with Sharon Kay (with call-ins) on “What’s the 411?” WFSK-FM (Fisk University, Nashville, TN), 28 October 2009. Click here for this interesting show and interview about the book. "411" also airs in Athens, GA and Detroit, Michigan. Sharon said the book kept her up late at night turning the pages and that "every young black person should read this book." She gave out copies to those who called in to the show. Sharon interviews hundreds of authors a year and seems to be the radio version of C-Span Booknotes!

Click here for a short sample radio interview (10 minutes) from the national radio show "The Urban Journal" and another on the Lars Larson Show. Tony Cox interviewed me on the nationally-syndicated NPR show "Upfront," also sponsored by the African American Public Radio Consortium. Radio hosts from NYC to Seattle and San Francisco have interviewed me about the book.

Other radio interviews:

KKZZ (California), "The Business of Life" (one million listeners)

KMED (Oregon)

WTXY (North Carolina)

WSIU (Illinois)

I am particularly interested in hearing from teachers who have used the book in their classroom.

Here is a short book announcement followed by advance praise:

If you are tired of the Left-versus-Right rehash of our race and immigration history, I have a new book out designed for general readers and classroom adoption.

By "race," I mean all races--black, white ethnics, Chinese, Japanese, Latinos, and American Indians. The classical liberal reinterpretation of race recognizes only one race ("human"). The central figure of this tradition, Frederick Douglass, put it this way:
I conceive that there is no division of races. God Almighty made but one race. . . . You may say that Frederick Douglass considers himself a member of the one race that exists.
If we could accept that simple idea in our hearts, minds, and the law of this land, we would be a lot closer to Douglass's conception of justice based on what we have in common.

Race and Liberty rediscovers an anti-racist tradition that is neither Left nor Right. The collection goes beyond black-white relations to include immigration, Chinese exclusion, Japanese internment, advocates of Jewish immigration during the Nazi era, and much more.

Related to the book, I have written an op-ed on William Wilberforce, U.S. News & World Report op-ed on the NAACP centennial, an op-ed on Frederick Douglass's Fourth of July oration and a nationally-syndicated column on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Dream" speech, which ran in newspapers from Sacramento to newspapers on the East Coast. It even appeared in the Gulf Times (Qatar), one of the leading newspapers in the Middle East. Go figure.

More:

R.C. Hoiles, Civil Rights Pioneer

"Catholics, Civil Rights, and the Holy Name"

"Playing the Presidential Race Card"

Douglass is the pivotal figure in the anti-racist, classical liberal tradition of civil rights and immigration. While Douglass is well-known, you might be surprised at some of the other forgotten figures included in The Essential Reader:
George Washington Cable (Confederate soldier-turned-civil rights activist), Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Moorfield Storey (first president of the NAACP), Jewish lawyer Louis Marshall, H.L. Mencken, Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes are Watching God), Robert Taft and many others.
FYI for teachers: We've targeted (and priced) the book for classroom use and general readership. Course adoption would be great! (I plan on creating a web site based on the book and if you alert me I will put you on an email list). Please let me know what classes you teach -- the book goes beyond "black and white" and includes white ethnics (Catholics and Jews were once considered an "inferior race"), Chinese, Japanese, and immigration.

Here are the blurbs for the book. I'm embarrassed by the praise -- the publisher had so many great blurbs they had to fill the first four pages of the book!

As a nation, we have to look beyond Left and Right on issues of race and immigration. This is a reinterpretation of our past that shows the good, bad, and ugly -- but emphasizes the heroes that made this a great country, with hope for the future.

Reviews
"Classical Liberalism and the Fight for Equal Rights"

"History Turned Right Side Up"

Social Science Journal

The Freeman

"Buried Civil Rights Treasures Unearthed in New Texts"
Liberty magazine
        Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World 
Crossfire! Paul Harvey's critique of my book and my own critical response.
Praise for Race and Liberty in America

“If you are interested in the real history of the Civil Rights movement in America—the radical ideas that set it in motion no matter where they came from—get ready for an intellectual thrill ride. There is no time for political posturing here. Race and Liberty in America is full of revelations and stunning in its honesty.”
—Juan Williams, Senior Correspondent, National Public Radio; author, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary

"Race and Liberty in America is a history buff’s dream. Jonathan Bean has carefully and judiciously chosen the most significant speeches, documents, and journalistic works pertaining to the government’s treatment of blacks from slavery to modern times. Here you can find wonderfully articulate pleas for equal treatment before the law and diabolic appeals to reject that. Throughout this book one sees the hard fought battles against a government unwilling to respect the natural law, incapable of acknowledging any limits on its power, and utterly contemptuous of the values that brought freedom and prosperity to a few. If you want a real feel for the civil rights battles your teachers and professors never taught you about, here it is.”
—Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel; author, Dred Scott’s Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America

Race and Liberty in America is the race and civil rights anthology we have been waiting for. In our politicized age we often think of civil rights as a movement of racial pride and identity. But Martin Luther King’s movement succeeded precisely because it used the principles of classical liberalism to shatter the idea that race or identity could be a source of entitlement. Black freedom did not come from an embrace of race; it came from the classic principles and values that finally prevailed over race. This book is a timely and necessary corrective.”
—Shelby Steele, Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; author, The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America

“Readers will find a wealth of information in Jonathan Bean’s outstanding book, Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader, a collection of primary source materials covering the great historical debates over race and ethnicity in America. Students, educators, civic leaders, and general readers can all greatly benefit from the book, drawing their own conclusions about the content, motivations, and intentions of leaders who have helped shape national policy.”
—Carol M. Swain, Director, Public Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science and Law, Vanderbilt University; author, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress

“This is a wonderful collection of fascinating documents about the black experience in America, many of them little-known, with judicious introductory material by Jonathan Bean. Puncturing the conventional wisdom that portrays the long and painful struggle for black freedom as the product of ‘progressive’ government controls, the book demonstrates convincingly that such figures as Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Robert Taft were among the most enlightened. Race and Liberty in America deserves a wide audience, and will enrich the reader's understanding of the nation's most difficult and troubling domestic issue.”
—Stephan Thernstrom, Winthrop Research Professor of History, Harvard University; co-author, America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible

“Jonathan Bean’s book Race and Liberty in America is indeed essential reading. All too often classical liberals are attacked for their indifference or insensitivity on matters of race. This superb collection of material dispels that illusion. From the beginning of the Republic to the present day a policy of limited government and freedom of association holds the keys to racial harmony and the advancement of all Americans, regardless of their race or color.”
—Richard A. Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

“Jonathan Bean forces the open-minded reader to think in new ways about the relationship between liberty and equality in the American experience with his shrewd selections of seminal documents and astute explanations of the same. Race and Liberty in America represents a powerful tool for understanding that government in the United States has often been the agent of oppression, something that has too often been forgotten in the last generation or so. Bean unashamedly lets the evidence speak for itself that the freedom of the individual has most often flourished when governments have been bridled and too often stifled when they interfered.”
—Robert J. Norrell, Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence and Professor of History, University of Tennessee; author of Up from History: The Life of Booker T. Washington

Race and Liberty in America is indispensable—perhaps the best collection of source documents on the subject ever gathered. Best of all, this terrific book dispels any notion that civil rights are synonymous with racial preferences or that immigration restriction promotes liberty.”
—Linda L. Chavez, former Staff Director, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Chairman, Center for Equal Opportunity; author, Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation

“After reading Race and Liberty in America, my reaction was WOW!! But, in case a one-word reaction is insufficient, I hasten to add that this fantastic book is destined to become America's new textbook about ‘race,’ civil rights and what it means to be a classical liberal on the subject of race. Americans are deeply divided about whether to enable their government to pursue ‘diversity’ or to embrace ‘colorblind’ public policies. This debate is not well-served by the polarizing influence of political labels that divide ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals.’ Perhaps, if more of the latter realized that colorblind government is a fundamental component of their political DNA and if more of the former understood the inherent connection between liberty and colorblindness, a resolution of this conflict might be achieved.”
—Ward Connerly, Chairman, American Civil Rights Institute; author, Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences

Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader is destined to become a standard source on the American classical liberal anti-racist tradition. In this magisterial anthology, Jonathan Bean mines a rich vein of sources. Many have never appeared before in book form. The selections cover such diverse topics as the fight for abolitionism and the allied struggles against Chinese exclusion, Jim Crow and Japanese internment. Bean introduces modern readers to such forgotten anti-racist crusaders as entrepreneur Lewis Tappan, who was the essential financial angel of abolitionism, NAACP super-lawyer Moorefield Storey, frontier novelist Rose Wilder Lane, and black Republican congressman Oscar DePriest. The selections also contain surprising new information about such better known individuals as Frederick Douglass, Warren G. Harding, Milton Friedman, and Zora Neale Hurston.”
—David T. Beito, Professor of History, University of Alabama; author of Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power

“We are one human race, in need of a savior and as my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘we must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools.’ Life, liberty and justice are matters of the heart and go beyond politics and legislation. The essential book, Race and Liberty in America, is a major step in the process.”
—Alveda C. King, Founder and Chairman, King for America; daughter of civil rights leader Rev. A. D. Williams King, brother of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Historian Jonathan Bean has provided a signal service by bringing to light the rich tradition of classical liberal thinking about civil rights. The world of ideas has been waiting for a book such as Race and Liberty in America for far too long, but Bean's collection of primary sources and thematic commentary has made it worth the wait. The book deserves a prominent place on the bookshelves of all open-minded scholars and should be required reading in classrooms across the nation. This is a transformative book by a courageous scholar.”
—Scott Douglas Gerber, Ella & Ernest Fisher Chair in Law, Ohio Northern University; author, First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas

“How will the issues of Race and Immigration impact America in the future? Short of studying statistics and census reports, a new book Race and Liberty in America edited by Jonathan Bean offers a ‘classical liberal’ description of the past, present and future impact of race and immigration in America’s future. It’s a challenging book of ideas offering a balanced discussion on these two issues.”
—Lee H. Walker, President, New Coalition for Economic and Social Change

Race and Liberty in America is an original and much-needed anthology, indispensable for any serious discussion of race relations in American history. The first-rate introductions and selections provide a fabulous resource for both teachers and students. Genuinely inspired.”
—Paul Moreno, William and Berniece Grewcock Chair in Constitutional History, Hillsdale CollegeBee