A Reading List on the History of Affirmative Action

Submitted by Nick Grall on

In response to the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on affirmative action in college admissions, the Department of History faculty wish to provide a list of resources over the history of affirmative action in our country. A huge thank you to James Gregory, Moon-Ho Jung, and Margaret O'Mara for their assistance in curating this list.

The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action by Terry H. Anderson (Oxford University Press, 2005)

The Minority Rights Revolution by John D. Skrentny (Harvard University Press, 2004)

Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century by Christopher P. Loss (Princeton University Press, 2014)

“The New Racial Preferences: Rethinking Racial Projects,” by Devon Carbado and Cheryl I. Harris, in Racial Formation in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Daniel Martinez HoSang et al. (University of California Press, 2012)

The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics by George Lipsitz (Temple University Press, 2018 original edition published 1998)

For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law by Randall Kennedy (Pantheon Books, 2013)

Protesting Affirmative Action: The Struggle over Equality after the Civil Rights Revolution by Dennis Deslippe (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014)

The Law of Affirmative Action: Twenty Five Years of Supreme Court Decisions on Race and Remedies by Girardeau Spann (New York University Press, 2000)