In this detailed history of relations between blacks and whites in the post-civil rights era, journalist Tamar Jacoby looks at how the ideal of integration has fared since it was first advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr., arguing that though blacks have made enormous economic, political, and social progress, a true sense of community has remained elusive. Her story leads us through the volatile world of New York in the 1960s, the center of liberal idealism about race; Detroit in the 1970s, under its first black mayor, Coleman Young; and Atlanta in the 1980s and ’90s, ruled by a coalition of white businessmen and black politicians. Based on extensive research and local reporting, her vivid, dramatic account evokes the special flavor of each city and decade, and gives voice to a host of ordinary individuals struggling to translate a vision into a reality.

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