In a post at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Steve Rendall and Zachary Tomanelli investigated the racial breakdown of the book reviewers and authors in two important book review venues, the New York Times Book Review and C-SPAN’s After Words. They found that the vast majority of both reviewers and authors were white males.
Overall, 95% of the authors and 96% of the reviewers were non-Latino white (compare that with the fact that whites are just over 60% of the U.S. population as of 2016).
Women accounted for between 13 and 31% of the authors and reviewers:
This is some hard data showing that white men’s ideas are made more accessible than the ideas of others, likely translating into greater influence on social discourse and public policy. These individuals certainly don’t all say the same thing, nor do they necessarily articulate ideas that benefit white men, but a greater diversity of perspectives would certainly enrich our discourse.
Originally posted in September, 2010.Lisa Wade, PhD is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming Introduction to Sociology text. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.