December 15, 2009

Book presents writings on race and immigration

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- History professor Jonathan Bean at Southern Illinois University Carbondale presents a new anthology of writings on race and immigration.

His new book, “Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader,” published by The Independent Institute with The University Press of Kentucky, offers writings about race, racism, freedom and civil rights, ranging from 1776 to 2007.

The collection represents the “classical liberal” point of view, one which Bean said is not given expression by either of the two major political parties in today’s United States. Yet, the authors in Bean’s anthology are not obscure. The collection includes writing from Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as selections from Supreme Court rulings, state constitutions, newspaper editorials, and more.

“This is the first collection of writings on race and immigration to document the role of the classical liberal tradition,” Bean said. “Yet many Americans share these values.”

Bean said he has wanted to edit such an anthology for a long time, motivated in part by his desire to show students that the Civil Rights Movement was not a single moment in history nor one that involved only one group of people.

Consequently, this anthology includes writings pertaining to Native Americans, such as annual reports from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Japanese Americans, such as editorials in the Chicago Tribune opposing Japanese-American internment during World War II; and Hispanics, such as a selection from a book written by Linda Chavez, formerly staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The book garnered national attention for Bean. His radio interviews about the book include the Rob Schilling Show in Charlottesville, W. Va.; the WQKR “Good Morning Show,” in Nashville, Tenn.; the Eagle Forum Live, with Phyllis Schlafly, carried by 50 radio stations nationwide; the “Upfront with Tony Cox” show, carried by National Public Radio; and the Terry Leahy Show, carried by several stations out of Omaha, Neb., to name just a few.

Positive book reviews include comments from peers in academia, and from others, such as Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst for the Fox News Channel; Stephen Thernstrom, the Winthrop Research Professor of History at Harvard University; Ward Connerly, chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, and Alveda C. King, founder and chair of King for America, and one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s nieces.

Bean is a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and the recipient of the Henry Adams Prize for Best Book of the Year from the Society for History in the Federal Government, and the Herman E. Kroos Prize from the Business History Conference.

Bean is also the author of the books “Big Government and Affirmative Action: The Scandalous History of the Small Business Administration,” and “Beyond the Broker State: Federal Policies Toward Small Business,” as well as many journal articles and editorials.

For more information about the book, visit For more information about the Department of History at SIUC, see