Steadfast Democrats has made a major impact in the short time it has been in print. Beyond the fact that it is a much-needed addition to ongoing conversations about US race relations, the book sets a standard of excellence for social science research.

Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird argue that Black people’s near-unified backing of the Democratic Party stems from the way racial in-group norms governing political action and attitudes operate. The authors label the cumulative impact of these norms “racialized social constraint.” To contextualize this argument, recall the puzzle that motivated Michael Dawson’s Behind the Mule (1994): If we subscribe to the Marxian idea that class divisions sit at the “base” of social inequality and that other demographic cleavages are relegated to the “superstructure,” then we should expect the race gap in political...

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