Drawing on collaborative research from a distinguished team at Harvard and Manchester universities, The age of Obama asks how two very different societies are responding to the tide of diversity that is being felt around the rich world. Guardian journalist Tom Clark, Robert D. Putnam – best-selling author of Bowling alone – and Manchester’s Edward Fieldhouse offer a wonderfully readable account. Like Bowling alone, The age of Obama mixes social scientific rigor with accessible charts and lively arguments. It will be enjoyed by politics, sociology and geography students, as well as by anyone else with an interest in ethnic relations. Injustice, it turns out, still blights the lives of many UK and US minorities – particularly African Americans. And there are signs the new diversity strains community life. Yet in both countries, public opinion is running irreversibly in favour of tolerance. That augurs well for the future – and suggests a British Obama cannot be ruled out.
Clark, Tom, Robert D. Putnam, and Edward Fieldhouse. The Age of Obama: The Changing Place of Minorities in British and American Society. University of Manchester Press, 2010.