Shame by Shelby Steele
Today, the United States of America is hopelessly polarized in a bitter impasse between the political Right and Left. In Shame, Shelby Steele traces the origin of this stalemate to the 1960’s – a decade of protest that has left the nation unable to fulfill its promise of change. In trying to abolish the nation’s hypocrisies – racism, sexism, and militarism – liberals have internalized the concept of the American character as inherently inauthentic, if not outright evil.
America has since endured a half-century of well-intended social programs that are not only ineffectual, but in almost every case harmful to America’s minorities and poor. Steele argues that by fighting to atone for the nation’s past sins, argues Steele, post-60’s liberals have in fact perpetuated the exploitation of America’s least fortunate citizens.
Therefore, the responsibility falls to the Right to preserve the American dream by reviving our founding principles of individual freedom and merit based competition. Steele approaches America’s political polarization with a wholly unique perspective, rigorously critiquing the failures of liberalism and defending the relevance and power of conservative America.
Praise for Shame:
“This timely critique warrants attention from anyone troubled by the persistence of racial discord in American life, from Selma to Ferguson.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A conservative analysis of political polarization and race relations in America, more thoughtful and less vitriolic than most volleys from either side.” – Kirkus
“Shelby Steele’s courageous challenge to Americans to get a moral grip on the country’s past and present is an important contribution to a future of liberty and justice for all, in the colorblind society of aspiration, solidarity, and achievement of which the classic civil rights movement dreamed.” – George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center