“If we come to understand the human value and dignity of people from different backgrounds, we can do a bit to deflect inequality in our everyday interactions,” says Harvard Professor and winner of the 2017 Erasmus Prize Michèle Lamont. Here, she recommends five books that illuminate the sociology of inequality.
When scientists devised classifications of race in the 18th century, they envisioned it as a hierarchy with Europeans on top. But the concept of ‘race’ is misleading and inaccurate, says the veteran broadcaster Kurt Barling. Here he recommends the best Five Books on racism, and reveals what he said to Enoch Powell when they came face to face.
Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History
by Rogers M. Smith
At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943
by Erika Lee
Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
by Mae M. Ngai
Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement
by Patricia Sullivan
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
Kenneth W. Mack, the Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law at Harvard University, discusses the warring ideals of egalitarianism and exclusion at the heart of US politics and law, from the founding of the nation up to the present day.