The Crisis in Civil Rights: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
August 20, 2020

The Crisis in Civil Rights
Best Books and Articles on Race, Police and the Welfare State

(Oakland, CA)—America’s enhanced public debate on the issues of civil rights, policing, race, and the welfare state has potential to advance “liberty and justice for all.” But the current civil rights march toward this noble goal can stall unless we acquire—and act on—a deeper understanding of the relevant findings that scholars have made in the fields of history, economics, law, and political philosophy.

To advance this dialogue, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Williamson M. Evers has created The Crisis in Civil Rights, one of the most exhaustive annotated reading lists ever assembled regarding these issues.

Suitable for use by college students and educators seeking material for curricula in the social sciences, criminology, and ethnic studies, as well as business and civic leaders, policymakers, and journalists, The Crisis in Civil Rights relies heavily on exemplary but lesser-known scholarship that draws on America’s heritage of individual rights, equality under the law, free markets, and freedom of opportunity.

Of the hundreds of books and articles that he recommends, Evers pointed to three as must-reads: Illiberal Reformers by Thomas C. Leonard, to see how Progressive-Era reformers “put racist policies in effect in the name of supposed science”; Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, Timothy Sandefur’s recent biography of the black abolitionist and orator, which shows “how much one determined individual can do for liberty”; and Why the Germans? Why the Jews? by Aly Götz, which “shows the role of envy” in German anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

“While America’s city streets echo with rage, when long-standing institutions face new doubts and challenges, and when people on all sides of a divided nation often see more reason for despair than for optimism, learning from mistakes and triumphs of the past can provide wisdom for today’s challenges,” says Evers.

The Crisis in Civil Rights can be read here.

To interview Williamson Evers, contact [email protected], or 510-635-3690

CREDENTIALS: Williamson M. Evers, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow, Director of the Center on Educational Excellence, and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy at the Independent Institute. Dr. Evers was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development from 2007 to 2009; former Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; and U.S. civilian official in Iraq in 2003 in charge of reopening schools.

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The Independent Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit


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