Neither counterfeit heroes nor colour-blind visionaries: black conservative intellectuals in modern America

Michael Ondaatje

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the rise to prominence, during the 1980s and 1990s, of a coterie of African American intellectuals associated with the powerful networks and institutions of the New Right. It situates the relatively marginalised phenomenon of contemporary black conservatism within its historical context; explores the nature and significance of the racial discourse it has generated; and probes the intellectual character of the individuals whose contributions to this strand of black thought have stood out over the past three decades. Engaging the writings of the major black conservative figures and the literature of their supporters and critics, I then evaluate their ideas in relation to the key debates concerning race and class in American life debates that have centred, for the most part, on the vexed issues of affirmative action, poverty and public education. In illuminating this complex, still largely misunderstood phenomenon, this thesis reveals the black conservatives as more than a group but as individuals with their own distinctive arguments.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2007

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