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Book Review: The Post-Racial Mystique

by Suleman


The assignment intends to conduct a book review of “The Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century (Critical Cultural Communication)” written by Catherine R. Squires. The review will identify the specific topics and purposes behind the explicit thesis and theoretical assumptions made in the book. In addition, this book review assignment will also present the key problems discussed, different theoretical concerns and arguments against the viewpoints made by the author.

Background of the Book

The book “Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century” is a distinctive book that examines the position of different media such as news, television and other mass media and describes their point of view on the “post-racial” aspect by reflecting American culture’s politics and society. In addition, the author of the book attempted to examine the viewpoint of various disciplines such as sociology, political science, communication and cultural studies in order to assess the superior strategic framework of ‘post-racial America.’ In particular, the book not only investigated the idea of ‘post-racial America,’ but also advocated the way in which the media of the twenty-first century interpreted and interpreted their opinions on different important topics. In general, these subjects included the history of the US, job figures, defined interpersonal relationships within the nation and other categories of identity (Squires, 2014).

Book Review: The Post-Racial Mystique

Thematic Review

            The University of Minnesota is associated with the author of the book mentioned above, Catherine R. Squires. She holds a Ph . D degree from North-western University in communication studies (University of Minnesota, 2012). The book discusses Squires’ viewpoint on the particular subject of ‘post-racial America’ and the role of both the media and race. The circumstances of ‘post-racial America’ indicate, according to the author, that the US strongly opposes the racial approach. The rationale behind writing the book can be stated as determining the people’s beliefs about the nation during the tenure of US President Barack Obama to become ‘post-racial America.’ In this regard, in the current scenario, the author Squires tried to advocate distinct prospects and the mystiques behind the American social environment (Squires, 2014).

The book titled “The Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century” itself provides a fundamental understanding about the prospective of the author and problems that are associated with the US society and environment. The term ‘Post-Racial’, as expressed by the author in the book, fundamentally refers to a co-operating environment of the US society, which is generally established by the people freed from any racial issue. Thus, in this context, it can be stated that the explicit thesis has been properly expressed by the author in the book by deciphering the hope of the Americans towards ‘post-racial America’. Additionally, Squires revealed that the post-racialism phenomenon is a complex theme to discuss about in this modern scenario. Moreover, from her narration, the theoretical assumption regarding the pre-racial period and the ending of racial prejudice period can be ascertained. In this similar context, based on the understanding of Squires, the term post-racialism consequently dismisses the period of racial barriers in the US succession, squeezes racial diversity as well as ambiguity and proclaims the barriers of racial equality. Apart from these, a brief idea can be obtained about the post-racial era of the new generation to be known as “Millennial generation.” From the book, it can be apparently noted that Lana Del Rey’s song “National Anthem” race is a theoretical concept and thus the US society has entered into the era of post-racial wherein the aspect of racial ambiguity will be persisted at large (Squires, 2014, Daniel, n.d.).

It is worth mentioning that the author Squires emphasized detailing the subject of ‘post-radical America’ and the role of media as well as races in the book titled “The Post-Racial Mystique: Media and Race in the Twenty-First Century.” In this respect, African Americans have to fight for themselves in creating their respective masses, according to Squires’ observation” media representation in the US. The viewpoints of Squires presented in the book provide a better understanding to the readers about the interdisciplinary scenarios prevailed within the black people in the US mass media. Moreover, along with this, the viewpoints of the author also outlined the ongoing racial equality in media, which led towards creating a span in the generations. Squires explored the view of discipline including sociology, political science, communication and cultural studies that provided the readers with the prospect of gaining better understanding the impact of mass media amid the post-radical Americans. Throughout the chapters of the book, Squires discussed about varied problems  faced by  the people belonging to America and most vitally tried to relate the same with the power of print, film, digital media and broadcasting (Cillizza, 2014; Squires, 2014; Hooks, n.d.).

Squires (2014) narrated the book through presenting the views and roles of modern media and races by stating the adverse consequences faced by the American society. Throughout the book, the author endeavored to rationalize the ground with proper exposure of the prevailed political environment. Furthermore, the author avoided the use of higher personal pronouns in the entire content of the book. Additionally, various facts and opinions were taken into concern in the book in order to find out appropriate cause-and-effect relationships. Specially mentioning, the author used passive voice in the book, which presented the issues as controversial opinions and facts as certain people opposed the viewpoint stating that America is becoming post-racial society completely (Squires, 2014).

In the book, Squires argued that American people demanded the nation to be in such as way so that they can avail the right of expressing their own viewpoints. Correspondingly, this particular argument made by Squires can be counter argued by stating the fact that the US government has provided utmost importance towards the freedom of express for evading the conduct of varied illegal activities like perjury, threats, racialism and false advertising among others. Therefore, in this regard, it can be sated that the US government with the incorporation of the aforesaid approach has certainly established provisions of protecting misleading activities, suppressing rights and promoting political speech. It will be vital to mention in this similar regard that most of the citizens of America have now chosen democratic governance to ensure the right for freedom towards the development of the nation as well as economy (Squires, 2014).

Consequently, on the basis of the reading of Squires, it can be affirmed that the book could prove to be a starting point for having proper understanding about distinct media roles and mixed race identity impacting Americas’ racial story at large. Furthermore, the concept of racism is duly considered to be a complex idea in this modern era, as the society is continuously changing with the increased level of internationalization and gaining momentum of globalization. In this regard, the viewpoints presented by Squires can be used for further discussion that will certainly enable the people of the nation to address about removing the differences and agree towards valuing others (Squires, 2014; Wise, 2012; Dawkins, 2010).


From the above analysis and discussion, it can be concluded that American societal situation is continuously developing at a rapid rate. In this regard, media plays a decisive part in raising greater awareness about a particular issue, but often gets scrutinized with regards to the proper execution about the viewpoint of post-radical America. It can be ascertained from the book that the American government must make deliberate efforts to protect people from any misleading activity, which often gets portrayed by the media. Thus, in conclusion, it can be affirmed that the media along with race in this contemporary era will certainly be placed in new horizon, resulting in promoting American democracy at large.

  • Cillizza, C. (2014). Obama’s vision of a post-racial America looks even more distant than before. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-vision-of-a-post-racial-america-looks-even-more-distant-than-before/2014/08/17/cdcd0fbe-261c-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html
  • Daniel, G. R. (n.d.). Black and white identity in the new millennium. Unsevering the Ties That Bind, 121.
  • Dawkins, M. (2010). Mixed messages: Barack Obama and post-racial politics. Retrieved from http://cinema.usc.edu/archivedassets/101/16191.pdf
  • Hooks, B. (n.d.). Representations of whiteness in the black imagination. Confronting Whiteness, 39-53.
  • Squires, C. R. (2014). Postracial mystique: Media and race in the 21st century. New York: NYU Press.
  • University of Minnesota. (2012). Catherine R Squires. Retrieved from http://www.comm.umn.edu/faculty/profile.php?UID=squir050
  • Wise, T. (2012). Opinion: Tim Wise: What is post-racial? Reflections on denial and reality. Retrieved from http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/31/opinion-tim-wise-what-is-post-racial-reflections-on-denial-and-reality/

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