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Uncivil Wars: The Constroversy Over Reparations for Slavery [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   120
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 25, 2003
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554716  
EAN  9781893554719  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The idea that taxpayers should pay reparations to African Americans for the damages of slavery and segregation has won the backing of important black politicians like Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), distinguished black intellectuals like Henry Louis Gates and activists like Randall Robinson, who led the successful boycott movement against South Africa a decade ago. In this well researched and carefully argued book, David Horowitz examines the case for reparations and concludes that it is "morally questionable and racially incendiary." He notes that only a tiny minority of Americans ever owned slaves; and most Americans living today (white and otherwise) are descended from post-Civil War immigrants who have no lineal connection to slavery at all. More intriguingly, he also points out that the GNP of black America is so large that it makes the African American community the tenth most prosperous "nation" in the world. "Since American blacks on average enjoy per capita incomes of 20-50 times those of blacks living in the African nations from which their ancestors were seized," he writes, "should the descendants of slaves pay themselves for benefiting from the fruits of their ancestors' servitude?" But in addition to providing a casebook on the hot button issue of reparations, Uncivil Wars also reveals a crisis of free speech on our college campuses, where the reparations movement is centered. In the hope of initiating a dialogue, Horowitz tried to air his arguments in a series of advertisements in college newspapers last spring and found himself struck in a briar patch of censorship. Some of the editors who accepted the ad were forced to denounce themselves Chinese communist-style. Others simply rejected the ad altogether as politically incorrect. The controversy escalated, with commentators throughout the national media joining the ACLU in expressing dismay at the state of tolerance and free expression in the American university. Uncivil Wars shows what happens when the new racial orthodoxy collides with tolerance and free speech and what the implications of this conflict are for American education and culture.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Junk text written by a money-hungry kook  Oct 15, 2007
This is a horrible book, filled with inaccuracies and right-wing rhetoric. Any well-read, socially-conscious individual can shoot more holes in this book than a sieve.
self-promoting book misses the mark  Mar 21, 2007
Much of the book is about Horowitz's tour, and his ongoing war with "tenured radicals" -- left wing academics. But most leftists are not academics, relatively few academics are leftists and the expansion of part-timers in academy means many are not tenured. The book tends to engage in distortions of the views of some of the people who he attacks. The book is a bit repetitive as the argument doesn't seem to get beyond the 10 arguments that were published in Horowitz's advertisement used for his tour.

Horowitz never rally addresses the data that shows vast differences between white and black in things like wealth, homeownership, unemployment rate, income levels, or likelihood of prosecution and imprisonment for the same crime.

Horowitz points out that much of the south's economy was destroyed in the civil war, a fourth of the white male population of military age were killed, so, he says, the south paid the price for slavery. but the slaves were not directly compensated. it is a well-accepted legal principle that if some people make profits from a criminal enterprise, their profits should be confiscated to re-imburse the victims. Slavery was a criminal enterprise, so it should have followed that the land and other property derived by the planter class and southern corporations from profits from slavery should have been transferred to the freed slaves at the end of the civil war. This didn't happen. The freed slaves were able to be forced into virtual bondage again due to being destitute after the civil war. The 850,000 acres of abandoned or confiscated land held by the Freedmen's Bureau was supposed to be transferred to the freed slaves, but the administration of Andrew Johnson sold it off to capitalist investors. This was why the Radical Republicans in Congress tried to impeach Johnson. Lack of inherited assets such as land affected the fortunes of subsequent generations of slave descendants. This obligation to do what is right doesn't end just because of that failure at the end of the civil war. The current value of that land and capital would be in the hundreds of billons today.

Horowitz argues that the various welfare and affirmative action programs of the Great Society era transferred "trillions" to African-Americans but provides no supporting data for this. In reality the great majority of beneficiaries of all welfare programs have been, and continue to be, poor white folks.

Horowtiz tries to portray the issue as one of personal "guilt" but it is a question of the institutional obligations of the society, and of the American federal state, due to the damages of a huge criminal enterprise the country was founded on. Horowitz says that a majority of African-Americans today are "middle class." This is not true. According to polls, 71% of African-Americans describe themselves as "working class." As I said, Horowitz is unwilling to address the actual current circumstances of the African-American population.

Horowitz asserts, correctly, that slavery in Africa existed before the transport of slaves to the Western Hemisphere, and that some Africans profited from this trade. But this ignores the fact that the argument is about the profits created in the USA for economic elites during the period of slavery and the subsequent period of depressed black incomes in the south due to things like klan violence and lack of civil rights and debt peonage. It was the profiting off of slavery and its aftermath in the USA that bears upon the obligations of the government of the USA and American society. The role of some Africans in the slave trade is not relevant to that.

It's true that many people have immigrated to the USA since the abolition of slavery but it is an accepted principle that people who migrate here are not exempt from the country's obligations. A person who migrates here cannot get out of paying taxes to pay on the national debt by saying those debts were taken out before he or she arrived. It is true that many white people fought to liberate the slaves in the 19th century -- my own ancestors include white Christian abolitionists -- but that still doesn't address the economic issue of profiting off of slavery and off of forms of oppression that suppress the share of the product of their labor received by African-Americans. Of course, it is still a legitimate issue of how to own up to this obligation.
Honest engagement  Feb 9, 2006
IF you desire a way to look into the slave reparations issue, this is the only work, besides online scholarly and honest blogging, that will give anyone that is for or against it a hardline approach that cannot easily be ignored. It dispells the myths of what victimhnood is really defined as and calls all Americans of all colors and stripes to ignore the social engineerists that would control your life and tell you that you are a victim because of your current dna structure and skin color. There are only a small handful of times in history where slavery was even thought of as evil, and the American Unionist abolitionist movement was obviously the most successful, no matter what Joseph Ellis or Zinn say--it worked! There have been sins in America, but we all need to look to history and we will see that we have been the pinnacle of light that that has instituted feedoms that have bridged the gulf of history and have gone places with it that no ancient could ever have dreamed of. This book provides an honest, intellectual insight into the reasons why reparations only serve to hurt the African-American populus rather than lift them higher. It is a ploy to ensure their status as victims so that the coffers of liberal PACs may continue to be filled and the race card can be politically played as an offense of political war to preserve power. For further reading on past military leaders who've fought slavery, read The Soul of Battle, by Vitor Davis Hanson. Horowitz is known by his followers and share his path, but for those whose political power is threatened or those emotionally brainwashed under such demagogues, this book will invoke rage. A great work!!!
An engaging read  Dec 3, 2004
David Horowitz takes on a subject charged with emotion, as most race related subjects are, and does a very credible, factual job of arguing why we should not pay reparations.

I agree with many of the other reviewer here, however, in expresing my digust of our nations institutions of "higher learning." Should any minority receive the reception that Horowitz got at these schools, there would have been an immediate cry of racism. The fact that Horowitz is white and is arguing, factually, against a subject that the liberal elite have embraced, only ensures that his reception anywhere liberals hold sway would be uncivil, to say the least.

This book also illustrates another point I've read elsewhere...the point that, in general, conservatives argue logically, with facts that can be researched and supported, while liberals argue with emotion and name calling, especially of the "racist/sexist/fascist" variety.

Read this book, it's definately worth your time!
An Acheivement of Personal Courage under Rethoric Fire   Sep 9, 2004
Mr. Horowitz's commentary, " Uncivil Wars" is a very hard and open look at what may seem either wrong or right, depending on what sidelines of the political arena you may fall in. In it's own right, away from the emotional squabbles of the Race Issue, one that steps out of the box should ask the simple question as to who would be deemed as written to recieve these reperations and where would the money come from? If it came from the Tax-payers, then that would mean a good portion of America's money would go into a contraversial law suit with an origin that can be found so far in the past that most people who were directly related to the issue of Slavery are either dead or have been put to justice. < and their have been recent cold cases involving murders during the 60's that would attribute to this>

Now, having said that, although History recognizes the terrible crimes of slavery, it would be a stain upon the black community for putting a set price on the issue because then you are implying that your willing to walk away quiet at a price, a price which past civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King had died and fought so strongly for equal rights, without peddling for dollars and change --- because the fight cannot have a price placed upon it. It was a human tragety. It was a fight for man to be seen as equal in the eyes of the very nation he lived in -- as well as women. Are we as human beings, to measure inhumanity by a dollar ammount --- will it even fix the problem?

This is a very good book, very short yet to the point, and advise people who are intressted to read the other books that this author has written, and yes, it is true --- The facts in this book are presented on both sides, and it is up to you to decide. Its how a political book should be.

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