In a devastating narrative that spans more than three centuries, the authors maintain that the drive for African-American equality has never had the support of the majority of Americans. Despite the great racial upheavals of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and the federal government's attempts to give blacks the right to vote, hold office, own land, and enjoy full citizenship, Jim Crow and "separate but equal" became the law of the land. And the spectacular gains of the civil rights era of the 1960s were followed by a discouraging backlash in the 1980s. Racial progress was made only in brief historical bursts when a committed militant minority -- abolitionists, radical republicans, civil rights activists -- stirred the nation, pressuring it to change. Invariably, however, these advances have been followed by concerted efforts to restore white privilege.Sanders, Barry is the author of 'Alienable Rights The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man's Land, 1619-2000', published 2004 under ISBN 9780060959111 and ISBN 0060959118.