• by Shelby Steele
  • Narrated by Randall Bain
  • 4 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gave Me Eyes to See

Shelby Steele gave me eyes to see not only how racism has caused our present crisis in America, but how will will get out of the mess that we are in. He discusses how Clarence Thomas struggled against "reverse racism", having been accepted to Yale based in part (who knows how large?) on affirmative action. Because of that affirmative action, he always struggled to become the jurist he knew he was in the eyes of others. All of the left's attempts at "reverse racism" have held people like Clarence Thomas down and have actually promoted the racism that they promised to alleviate. Now we have people like the Black Lives Matter folks, who are promoting the idea that America owes them reparations for the slavery that their forebears experienced in the past. Shelby Steele points out that these kinds of solutions have the appearance of being helpful, but that they effectively replace the very thing that is needed -- for blacks to rise up and take their place at the great American table. He gave me eyes to see that the solution is for blacks and whites and every other race that is in America to take America's creed to heart ("all people are created equal") and to live in such a way that their lives will be a testimony that they hope to be judged by the content of their character. He makes the point that this is exactly what blacks have done in two arenas -- music and sports. If they can do this in these areas, with other races at times trying to hold them down, then they can do this in every area. He tells me the solution is the same for them as for me -- to take indignities that I have endured in the past and to realize that I AM RESPONSIBLE to overcome these things. It helps that one of his parents is black, and thus he has the "right" to say these things, though his message is not always welcomed, as he narrates at the beginning of the book. This is a very fine book, and I would recommend that people who are looking to be challenged would listen.
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- Mark Lavalley

Thought provoking

Send Castec perspective! Insightful and informative. Kept me engaged and entertained while educating and challenging my perspective.
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- bri

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-25-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio