Changing Course: Civil Rights at the Crossroads

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Transaction Publishers, 1988 - Social Science - 152 pages
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Changing Course traces the rise and fall of the civil rights movement in the United States. It locates the origins of the civil rights vision firmly in the intellectual soil of the American Revolution. This vision carried the day through the abolition of slavery to the triumph of equal opportunity in the 1960s. Throughout, Bolick argues, the efforts of the civil rights movement were rooted in principles of natural law, and anchored in concern for fundamental rights and equality under the law.

Bolick explores the movement's sudden abandonment of those principles during the 1960s, and examines the nature and consequences of the revised civil rights agenda during the past two decades. The book is particularly timely, appearing in the midst of growing polarization over civil rights and at a time when both liberals and conservatives are grappling to set a course of action for the post-Reagan years.

"Changing Course "identifies clearly real civil rights problems of today as government-erected barriers to entrepreneurial and educational opportunity as well as a vicious cycle of dependency and despair. Bolick outlines a vigorous course of action that would eliminate those barriers based on traditional principles of civil rights. The book provides an intellectual and practical framework for a positive alternative to the agenda of the present-day civil rights establishment. It challenges advocates of individual liberty to reclaim leadership in the quest for civil rights for all.

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Contents

Origins of the Quest
5
Abolitionism The Quest for Freedom
13
The Triumph of Opportunity
31
The Quest Abandoned
53
RECHARTING THE COURSE OF CIVIL RIGHTS
79
Introduction to Part II
81
The Failed Agenda
84
A New Civil Rights Strategy
92
The Necessity of Judicial Action
122
The Prognosis for Success
142
Conclusion
146
Index
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Page 11 - When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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