No society is truly equal but inequality should not be caused by one’s race, gender or another personal factor. This is a specialist book, looking at whether creating economic equality could solve racial and gender inequality.

It is written from a pro-U.S. perspective, which is no bad thing when the country allegedly is conscious about discrimination, despite the obvious inequalities that can be found. Poverty is not, of course, restricted to a certain demographic, just as sickness knows no boundaries, but there is a powerful argument that says inequality can disproportionate place people into an economically disadvantageous situation. It is sensitively written, rather than being a firebrand book, letting the stories and figures speak for themselves, noting that progress has been made on one hand with equality whilst it has been held back on the other. There is more to be addressed, but is it necessarily a simple action?

This is a book that demands your attention. It can be hard-going in places due to its authoritative, academic nature, but the subject also deserves a certain focus from the reader. Its coverage within the sphere of economics is broad, looking at underlying structures, wealth inequality, education and societal challenges, criminal justice and even the wider issues of democracy. A lot of the issues are described as ‘hidden rules of race’, and this sounds appropriate and in no way ‘tin foil hat’ territory. Consideration is also given to what could be changed and how this may be instigated. As you would expect in a book of this kind, there are extensive bibliographic resources to inspire further and deeper reading.

The authors do not pull their punches, rejecting some conventional viewpoints in the process to advocate their nuanced beliefs. It makes it an interesting book, even if you are not an economist nor directly affected by such inequalities and a worthwhile consideration to your reading pile nonetheless.

The Hidden Rules of Race Book Cover The Hidden Rules of Race
Andrea Flynn, Susan R. Holmberg, Dorian T. Warren & Felicia J. Wong
Economics
Cambridge University Press
2017
9781108417549