Civil Rights at the Crossroads
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.
"Changing Course is two books in one. The first is a lucid, fully documented account of the court decisions, laws and ideologies that have shaped the civil rights struggle over the last two centuries—a unique sourcebook. The second is a brief for a return to a civil rights policy based on freedom and equal rights under the law. Both are essential reading for anyone trying to think through this continuing American dilemma."
—Charles Murray, Bradley Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and author of Losing Ground "Superb!! ... [It] should be on the 'must read' list of all who still believe in individual freedom, and intend to take steps to preserve and defend it."
—Clarence Thomas, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
"... a fine, well-balanced contribution to the real struggle for civil rights in America, where we are all equal before the law as opposed to the status quo where some of us, based on race and gender, are more equal than others."
—Walter M. Williams, George Mason University.