Regular price: $13.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $13.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Add to Library for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling and controversial author Shelby Steele comes an illuminating examination of the complex racial issues that confront presidential candidate Barack Obama in his race for the White House, a quest that will be one of those galvanizing occasions that forces a national dialogue on the current state of race relations in America. Steele argues that Senator Obama is caught between two classic postures that blacks have always used to make their way in the white American mainstream: bargaining and challenging. Bargainers strike a "bargain" with white America in which they say, "I will not rub America's ugly history of racism in your face if you will not hold my race against me." Bill Cosby's sitcom in the 1980s was the classic example of bargaining. Obama also sends "bargaining" signals to white America, and whites respond with considerable gratitude - which explains the special aura of excitement that surrounds him.
But in order to garner the black vote, which is absolutely necessary for victory in the primaries and the general election, Obama must also posture as a challenger. Challengers are the opposite of bargainers. They charge whites with inherent racism and then demand that they prove themselves innocent by supporting black-friendly policies, such as affirmative action. If whites go along with this, thereby proving their innocence, they are granted absolution by the black challenger.
The current black American identity is grounded in challenging. Obama must therefore posture as a challenger to win the black vote. However, challenging threatens Obama's white support. But bargaining threatens his black support. Thus, he is bound. He walks in an impossible political territory where any expression of what he truly feels puts him in jeopardy with one much-needed constituency or another. Only a kind of two-sided political mask, or an "above politics" posture, keeps the wolves at bay.
©2008 Shelby Steele (P)2008 Tantor
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Full of fresh insights into the cultural politics of race." ( Publishers Weekly)
Show More Show Less

No Reviews are Available