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Publisher's Summary

A prominent conservative scholar traces the post-1960s divisions between the Right and the Left, taking aim at liberals' victimization of African Americans and their failure to offer a viable way forward for American society. The United States today is hopelessly polarized; the political Right and Left have hardened into rigid and deeply antagonistic camps, preventing any sort of progress. Amid the bickering and inertia, the promise of the 1960s--when we came together as a nation to fight for equality and universal justice--remains unfulfilled.
As Shelby Steele reveals in Shame, the roots of this impasse can be traced back to that decade of protest, when in the act of uncovering and dismantling our national hypocrisies--racism, sexism, militarism--liberals internalized the idea that there was something inauthentic, if not evil, in the American character. Since then, liberalism has been wholly concerned with redeeming modern America from the sins of the past and has derived its political legitimacy from the premise of a morally bankrupt America. The result has been a half century of well-intentioned but ineffective social programs, such as Affirmative Action. Steele reveals that not only have these programs failed, but they have in almost every case actively harmed America's minorities and poor. Ultimately, Steele argues, post-'60s liberalism has utterly failed to achieve its stated aim: true equality. Liberals, intending to atone for our past sins, have ironically perpetuated the exploitation of this country's least fortunate citizens.
It therefore falls to the Right to defend the American dream. Only by reviving our founding principles of individual freedom and merit-based competition can the fraught legacy of American history be redeemed, and only through freedom can we ever hope to reach equality.
©2015 Shelby Steele (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 12-02-17

Great book.

Loved it. The most insightful book on the modern political and social state of America I have ever read.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dr. James F. Keating on 01-03-18

Desperately needed on our campuses.

Listening to Steele’s profound defense of development over mere inclusion and freedom over mere performance for guilty whites, I wished that the hordes of diversity and inclusion officers would lend an ear. Steele goes to depths beyond the imaginings of hucksters like Coates and Dyson and by so doing fails to provide liberal whites what they most desire: absolution for the sins of others.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dan Luba on 08-31-16

An Epic Miniature Tome

A fascinating personal journey and a well crafted political history, all lazily folded into a book a Frenchman could read on his lunch break. It weaves together many strands very neatly to provide a lot of insight into the political currents of the last 70 years. I do think his ideas about feminism are a bit naive, but I guess that's not really his main concern.

This is an important book and its message needs to be taken seriously if we are to avoid the calamities that are brewing in American race relations in the modern era.

I would recommend Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" as an excellent companion to this book.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Nicky Beet on 08-08-16


What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Being a totally different fair and factually accurate book would help

What could Shelby Steele have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The best thing he could have done would have been not to have written it

Would you be willing to try another one of Randall Bain’s performances?


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Shame?

All of it.he seems to dispute that sexism racism with its police oppression and environmental destruction are a massive problem in america

Any additional comments?

America the free great and bold anointted to be that last best hope.totally rewrites history to make liberalism some kind of totalitarianism and only neo-cons are right and the vietnam war was truly heroic and the destruction of a country was done to help them(lol)
Is seriously the most absurd book i have ever heard and what one may expect of a 12yr old

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