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The ’64 Civil Rights Act and the Origins of Political Correctness


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Nicholas J. Kaster

Mar. 2 2020

In his new book The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, Claremont Institute scholar Christopher Caldwell explains how the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation designed to end segregation in the South, gave unprecedented power to Washington and ended up dividing the country.

To be sure, Caldwell recognizes that Jim Crow was immoral and needed to be eradicated. But in doing so, he contends, the law enacted permanent emergency powers that vastly increased federal control over the private lives of Americans. The law created new crimes, outlawed discrimination in almost every aspect of public and private life and exposed nearly every facet of American life to direction from bureaucrats and judges.

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Feb. 25 2020

Christopher Caldwell is a contributing editor at the Claremont Review of Books and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. A graduate of Harvard College, his essays, columns, and reviews appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Book Review, the Spectator, Financial Times, the Claremont Review of Books, and numerous other publications. He is the author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West and The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.

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