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The Content of Our Character:
From the sight-lines of the university setting, Shelby Steele gives an account of race that is nothing if not controversial. Steele's nine essays derive their messages from personal experience dosed with broader social psychology. The value of this book, which won a 1990 National Book Critics Circle Award, lies in its introspection, rather than its distant calculation. Steele weeds the individual out of the group and argues for personal responsibility. He offers a unique look at the African-American experience and points a questioning finger at the children of affirmative action. The knee-jerk identification he observes "presupposes a deep racist reflex in American life that will forever try to limit black possibility." [via]