Black Rights / White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism by Charles W. Mills is a welcome contribution to the burgeoning field of philosophical and historical reflection on liberalism as a racial and imperial political philosophy. It joins such recent scholarship as Jennifer Pitts’s A Turn to Empire and Duncan Bell’s Reordering the World in showing that liberalism was far from a tradition sweeping away “the darkness and irrational social hierarchies of the ancien régime.” Much like his hugely influential 1997 work The Racial Contract, Mills’s Black Rights / White Wrongs (henceforth BRWW) contends that race historically penetrates “into liberalism’s descriptive and normative apparatus so as to produce a more-or-less consistent racialized ideology” (xv). Far from celebrating the abstract theoretical principles vivified by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century white male statesmen and intellectuals (and their twentieth-century...

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