Jun 30 2008

New Book Coming out on “Diversity”

Category: college,diversity,education,higher education,universityharmonicminer @ 8:01 am

This looks like it will be a fine complement to Peter Wood’s book, discussed here. As chapters of Purdy’s book are released, I’ll link to them here.

New Book on Diversity to be serialized on line

Today, Larry Purdy—one of the three lawyers from the Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand who represented Jennifer Gratz and Barbara Grutter in the U.S. Supreme Court cases Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger—presents a picture of the upside down house in which we live. His book, Getting Under the Skin of “Diversity”, shows how racial preferences have engendered an upside down view of race, racism, affirmative action, diversity, and justice.

The National Association of Scholars is privileged to present, beginning today, an advanced look at Purdy’s book. A printed version of Getting Under the Skin of “Diversity” will be available later this year. In the days and weeks to come, however, we will serialize this important book on our website. Each chapter will go up in PDF form until the whole book is present. We do this with the author’s permission. Mr. Purdy retains the copyright to Getting Under the Skin of “Diversity” and all legal claims to his intellectual property.

In the preface, Purdy names the three purposes of his book: First, he sets out to refute another book, The Shape of the River (1998) by William Bowen and Derek Bok, former presidents of Princeton and Harvard. Bowen and Bok’s book strenuously argued that racial preferences in elite colleges work as advertised: the minority students who receive the preferences thrive; the colleges benefit; and society is better off. In her majority opinion, Justice O’Connor relied heavily on the arguments put forth by Bowen and Bok in The Shape of the River, and yet, until now, no one has systematically examined their arguments and so-called “evidence.”

Second, Purdy critiques Justice O’Connor’s opinion in Grutter. Purdy is certainly not the first to do this. Grutter is notorious for its loose reasoning and selective use of evidence, but there is probably no one better equipped than Purdy to demonstrate the waywardness of O’Connor’s judgment in this case.

Purdy’s third object in this book is to discuss the continued use of racial preferences in higher education and the injustices those preferences propagate. Ultimately, Purdy writes, both the “beneficiaries” and the “victims” are harmed—by condescension and by discrimination.

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3 Responses to “New Book Coming out on “Diversity””

  1. Michael K says:

    This author looks like a perfect candidate as a guest speaker for the Diversity Committee. This should be interesting reading.

  2. Michael K says:

    Hope this gets to you, Harmonic Miner.

  3. harmonicminer » Virtual Diversity: The Diversity You Wish You Had says:

    [...] suppose there are all kinds of reasons for fudging the appearance of diversity, maybe even including trying to attract a more diverse student body.  One assumes that these [...]

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