New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. First edition [Stated]. Presumed first printing. Hardcover. xii, 607,  pages. Notes. Index. Cover has slight wear and soiling. No dust jacket present. Inscribed by the author in the fep. Inscription reads: To Ari--Hope you fine more to agree with in this than in :Arab + Jew" Best wishes David K. Shipler. An examination of racial bigotry and racial understanding in America today. Shipler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at the New York Times, provides a nuanced and multilayered portrait of how Americans interact with others of differing backgrounds, and how they are hampered in their understanding by deep-seated and barely conscious attitudes of mistrust and fear. David K. Shipler (born December 3, 1942) is an American author and journalist. He served in the U.S. Navy as an officer on a destroyer, 1964–66. He won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction in 1987 for Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. Among his other publications the book entitled, The Working Poor: Invisible in America, also has garnered many awards. Formerly, he was a foreign correspondent of The New York Times and served as one of their bureau chiefs. Since 2010, he has published the electronic journal, The Shipler Report. His book, A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America, based on five years of research into stereotyping and interactions across racial lines, was published in 1997. Shipler was one of three authors invited by President Clinton to participate in his first town meeting on race. A Country of Strangers is a magnificent exploration of the psychological landscape where blacks and whites meet. To tell the story in human rather than abstract terms, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David K. 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 penetrate into dimensions of stereotyping and discrimination that are usually invisible, and discover the unseen prejudices and privileges of white Americans, and what black Americans make of them. We explore the competing impulses of integration and separation: the reference points by which the races navigate as they venture out and then withdraw; the biculturalism that many blacks perfect as they move back and forth between the white and black worlds, and the homesickness some blacks feel for the comfort of all-black separateness. There are portrayals of interracial families and their multiracial children--expert guides through the clashes created by racial blending in America. 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. There is an assessment of the complexity confronting blacks and whites alike as they struggle to recognize and define the racial motivations that may or may not be present in a thought, a word, a deed. The book does not prescribe, but it documents the silences that prevail, the listening that doesn't happen, the conversations that don't take place. It looks at relations between minorities, including blacks and Jews, and blacks and Koreans. 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. Condition: Very good.
Keywords: Racism, Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Prejudice, Biculturalism, Integration, Civil Rights, Diversity Training, Ethnicity, Interracial, Multiracial, Skin Color, Stereotypes