The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Longlist, National Book Awards 2017 for Nonfiction

The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein book cover
ISBN 9781631492853
Liveright / W. W. Norton & Company
Richard Rothstein author photo, credit: Judy Licht Photography
Richard Rothstein

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. More about this author >

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In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.