Gene Dattel is Steven Hayward’s extraordinary guest on this week’s show. Gene is the author of a book that deserves to be much better known—Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure (Encounter Books). This remarkably compact book is brimming with details about and revisions to the standard narratives of race relations in America from the colonial era right down to the present. Gene’s complete command of this subject—stemming partly from growing up in the Mississippi delta but also from wide reading and study—is on full display in this far-reaching conversation.
Steve and Gene cover a lot of ground, from how to understand race and the American Founding, to the failure of Reconstruction, the Great Society, and finally ending with consideration of the hot current topic of reparations for slavery, which may yet play an important role in the 2020 election. But this conversation barely scratches the surface of Gene’s capacious knowledge and insight into this difficult domain, so go buy the book!