Book ReviewJune 2015
In the author’s words, the book explores “what kinds of prejudices and biases might be operating in everyday life in contemporary British society, revolving around race and ethnicity, especially in the broad area of employment” (p. 1), though consistent with the subtitle of the book, the primary focus of the academic analysis is on implicit prejudice. Written in a manner suitable for a broad non-specialist audience, it appears to be directed, at least in part, toward those concerned with the lack of diversity in the university system in the United Kingdom in particular...Beattie’s style of writing about prejudice is “populated” (Billing, 2011); he writes about real people in real situations in his personal reflections on prejudice. His story of the dynamics of the university boardroom is eloquently written and likely to resonate with readers who have sat in such rooms and experienced the chill in the air, and his accounts of class and religious conflict and violence in Northern Ireland powerfully illustrate the intersection between the personal and the political. He moves with ease between perspectives, personal and academic, psychodynamic and social-cognitive.......Our Racist Heart has one unique and valuable strength to recommend it: The author is a strong story-teller. Therefore, it can be enjoyed as an academic narrative, a description of a journey, taken by the author, exploring his own experiences of prejudice juxtaposed with reflections on a sampling of relevant academic work. In this respect, it offers some novel musings and poignant stories about problems of enduring importance.'
Reviewed by LYNNE M. JACKSON, the University of Western Ontario in the journal 'Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy', Vol. 14, No. 1, 2014, pp. 434--436