Democracy and Race in Brazil, Britain, and the United States: Reaching for Higher Ground
By Walton L. Brown
Edwin Mellen Press, 1997, 289 pp.
The author correctly notes that the most difficult issue with which contemporary democracies have to deal is race. This book compares the ways in which the three democracies with the largest black minority populations have handled this problem. While the United States does not have a lot to be proud of in the way it has dealt with race over the years, the author's treatment of racial politics in the United States in recent years is superficial. The book fails to deal with the problem of the underclass and poverty. Brown does not take seriously the problems that policies to promote substantive equality through affirmative action and the promotion of group rights pose for the principles of individualism and limited government upon which liberal democracy is founded.