Shelby Steele

Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow
Biography: 

Shelby Steele is the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. He was appointed a Hoover fellow in 1994.

Steele has written widely on race in American society and the consequences of contemporary social programs on race relations.

In 2006, Steele received the Bradley Prize for his contributions to the study of race in America. In 2004, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. In 1991, his work on the documentary Seven Days in Bensonhurst was recognized with an Emmy Award and two awards for television documentary writing—the Writer's Guild Award and the San Francisco Film Festival Award.

Steele received the National Book Critic's Circle Award in 1990 in the general nonfiction category for his book The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America. Other books by Steele include A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win (Free Press, 2007), White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era (HarperCollins 2006) and A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America.

Steele has written extensively for major publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is a contributing editor at Harper's magazine. He has also spoken before hundreds of groups and appeared on national current affairs news programs including Nightline and 60 Minutes.

Steele is a member of the National Association of Scholars, the national board of the American Academy for Liberal Education, the University Accreditation Association, and the national board at the Center for the New American Community at the Manhattan Institute.

Steele holds a PhD in English from the University of Utah, an MA in sociology from Southern Illinois University, and a BA in political science from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Recent Commentary

In the News

Political Corruption Comes In Different Forms

featuring Shelby Steelevia VV Daily Press
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Most of our experience with political corruption concerns financial transactions wherein public funds find their way into private pockets or public office facilitates access to private money. But at a Hillsdale College leadership seminar Feb. 21 in Costa Mesa, Christopher Bedford, editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller News Foundation, and Shelby Steele, author and Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, delineated corruption in the news media and in liberalism, respectively.

Interviews

Shelby Steele: 2020 Presidential Democrats Push For Slavery Reparations

interview with Shelby Steelevia The Ingraham Angle (Fox)
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Shelby Steele discusses Democrats push for slavery reparations.

In the News

If Wishing Could Make It So

quoting Shelby Steelevia City Journal
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

“To a degree, black America’s self-esteem is invested in the illusion that we live under a cloud of continuing injustice,” Shelby Steele wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year. 

Interviews

Shelby Steele On The Laura Ingraham Show (59:18)

interview with Shelby Steelevia The Laura Ingraham Show
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Shelby Steele dissects the left's obsession with faux-racism.

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Left Behind

by Shelby Steelevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 25, 2019

Leftists arrogated to themselves moral superiority—and with it, power. But now that racism has faded, they lack an enemy.

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Why The Left Is Consumed With Hate

by Shelby Steelevia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, September 23, 2018

[Subscription Required] Lacking worthy menaces to fight, it is driven to find a replacement for racism. Failing this, what is left?

 

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“The Oppression of Black People Is Over”

by Shelby Steelevia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 20, 2018

The recent NFL protests were more dutiful than daring. Freedom has made the theme of victimization obsolete.

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Shelby Steele On "How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country"

interview with Shelby Steelevia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele analyzes contemporary race relations in the United States.

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Shelby Steele On “How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country”

interview with Shelby Steelevia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, February 8, 2018

AUDIO ONLY

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele analyzes contemporary race relations in the United States.

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A Sick Hunger for Racism

by Shelby Steelevia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Why can’t leftists let go of the whole idea of all-powerful, permanent white bigotry? Because it empowers them

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