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Eastern Sociology Professor Releases New Book

Written by Emily Bonoyer

            Willimantic, Conn. - James Russell, professor of sociology and director of the Latin American Studies program at Eastern Connecticut State University, has published a new book, "Class and Race Formation in North America" is a comparative exploration of how patterns of class and racial inequality developed in the United States, Mexico and Canada from the colonial pasts to the beginning of the North American Free Trade Agreement and beyond.

            In his book, Russell illustrates the effects of uneven economic development on both class and race in North America; examines how unique class and race dynamics in each of the countries have contributed to overall continental patters; and demonstrates the complexity of the ways in which class and race are interrelated. Ultimately, he reveals a continent of diverse historical experiences, class systems and ways of thinking about race.

            "Russell's meticulously researched and highly detailed book presents a critically important people's history of North America, " said Dan Zuberi, assistant professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia and author of "Differences That Matter: Social Policy and the working Poor in the United States and Canada." "For those interested in how class and race emerged and diverged among the three countries sharing this continent, this book provides rich insights and demonstrates the potential of comparative research to broaden our perspective."

            Richard Griswold del Castillo, professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University, agreed, saying the book is "a very important contribution to comparative studies of race and class."

             Russell was active in the 1960s civil rights and antiwar movements. He was the first editor of New Left Notes, the national newspaper of Students for a Democratic Society. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at universities in San Francisco, Texas, Oregon, Mexico City and Connecticut

            Russell is the author of six books, including "After the Fifth Sun: Class and Race in North America" (Prentice Hall) and "Double Standard:  Social Policy in Europe and the United States" (Rowman and Littlefield). He has also published widely in such publications as Monthly Review, The Nation and The Progressive.


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