The Public Interest

Learning from James Coleman

Richard D. Kahlenberg

Summer 2001

WHEN James S. Coleman died in 1995, the headline in the New York Times obituary read “Work Helped to Foster Busing”—an interesting epitaph for someone whom many also considered to be one of the original neoconservatives. What Bayard Rustin said of the white working class applies with equal force to the eminent University of Chicago sociologist: “The question is not whether this group is liberal or conservative, for it is both.”

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