Shadow and Act - Part 3, The Shadow and the Act, Section 4 Summary & Analysis

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"An American Dilemma" (unpublished - written 1944). This essay is a response to the book An American Dilemma, written by Gunnar Myrdal, a European social scientist brought into America by the Carnegie Foundation (dedicated to exploration and development of American arts and social sciences). The purpose of his visit was to study Negro and white relationships and history and, in the words of the foundation, to write a book with "the purpose of ... contribu[ting] to the general advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding".

The author opens his essay with a statement of ambivalence, both praising the book highly and revealing significant doubts about its theories and conclusions. In explaining the reasons for this position, he reveals his belief that on one level Myrdal has it right, particularly in...

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Shadow and Act from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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