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A Beginner's Guide

Published by Oneworld Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

Discover racism's roots, its long-lasting impact on society – and why it is here to stay.

Despite the long struggle to eliminate racism, it is still very much with us. In fact, since 9/11, racism appears to be on the rise, making it more important than ever before to understand the meaning of race and the effect it has on society. Alana Lentin maps the emergence and development of ideas about race through political history right up to modern debates about multiculturalism and Islamophobia, and considers the implications of a 'post-racial' society at a time when science has placed genetics over culture. Provocative and intelligent reading for the newcomer and expert alike, this invaluable resource exposes the roots of racial thought and demonstrates why it has remained crucial to our everyday lives.

Alana Lentin is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Sussex. She is the author of Racism and Anti-Racism in Europe (2004) and is a regular contributor to For more information please visit

"I’ve learned an enormous lot from Lentin’s book. I only regret that a guide like this was not in existence when sixty years ago I started to study that phenomenon, one of the most insidious and complex of our times. My long struggle to comprehend its causes and poisonous logic would have been so much easier to wage - and win."

– Zygmunt Bauman - Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds

"This book brings some valuable clarity into a theme that often generates a lot of confusion. Alana Lentin shows that there is nothing natural or inevitable about racism."

– Stephen Castles - Director and Senior Researcher at IMI and Professor of Migration and Refugee Studi

"This is a lively, accessible and up to date introduction that should be read by anyone who wants to understand the impact of racism in the West today."

– Alastair Bonnett - Professor of Social Geography at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne

"Clearly and convincingly written, the book is especially effective in positioning the political stakes of contemporary racisms. Alana Lentin offers a very good springboard from which students can launch a critical examination of racisms."

– David Theo Goldberg - Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute

"An excellent and up to date introduction to one of the world's most enduring forms of injustice. Racism's shifting form and anatomy is dissected with precision offering a much needed political and sociological analysis."

– Les Back - Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College

"This is a provocative and stimulating book which deserves to be widely read. While at times the book makes for uncomfortable reading, Lentin’s sharp insights into the ‘inherently political nature of racism’ provides a major contribution to the study of racism in contemporary society."

– Elaine Moriarty - lecturer in sociology at Trinity College, Dublin

"Provides a perceptive and accessible overview both of the history of racism and of its contemporary forms … An outstanding choice for course adoption across the social sciences and humanities."

– Howard Winant - Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara

More books in this series: Beginner's Guides