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 is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California-Berkeley.
Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers an original and insightful explanation of how government policy in the United States intentionally promoted and enforced residential racial segregation. The central premise of his argument, which calls for a fundamental reexamination of American constitutional law, is that the Supreme Court has failed for decades to understand the extent to which residential racial segregation in our nation is not the result of private decisions by private individuals, but is the direct product of unconstitutional government action. The implications of his analysis are revolutionary. -- Geoffrey R. Stone, author of Sex and the Constitution A masterful explication of the single most vexing problem facing black America: the concentration of the poor and middle class into segregated neighborhoods. Rothstein documents the deep historical roots and the continuing practices in law and social custom that maintain a profoundly un-American system holding down the nation's most disadvantaged citizens. -- Thomas B. Edsall, author of The Age of Austerity Through meticulous research and powerful human stories, Richard Rothstein reveals a history of racism hiding in plain sight and compels us to confront the consequences of the intentional, decades-long governmental policies that created a segregated America. The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book. -- Sherrilyn A. Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Racial segregation does not just happen; it is made. Written with a spatial imagination, this exacting and exigent book traces how public policies across a wide spectrum-including discriminatory zoning, taxation, subsidies, and explicit redlining-have shaped the racial fracturing of America. At once analytical and passionate, The Color of Law discloses why segregation has persisted, even deepened, in the post-civil rights era, and thoughtfully proposes how remedies might be pursued. A must-read. -- Ira Katznelson, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning Fear Itself This wonderful, important book could not be more timely. It shows how federal, state, and local government housing policies made the United States two societies, separate and unequal, and used public power to impose unfair, profoundly damaging injuries on African Americans. The book is filled with history that's been deliberately buried even as its tragic consequences make headlines in Ferguson, Tulsa, Dallas, Staten Island, Charleston-and throughout the country. With its clarity and breadth, the book is literally a page-turner: once one begins on this journey with Richard Rothstein, one is not likely to stop before the conclusion, with a determination that the injustices described must be redressed fully and immediately. -- Florence Roisman, William F. Harvey Professor of Law, Indiana University