Jim Sleeper

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Jim Sleeper
Occupation Author and journalist
Nationality American
Subject American political culture, racial politics, news, media and higher education
Notable works The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York, Liberal Racism, In Search of New York

Jim Sleeper is an American author and journalist. Since 1999 he has also been a lecturer in political science at Yale University, where he has taught undergraduate seminars on American national identity and on journalism, liberalism, and democracy.

He writes primarily on American political culture,[1] racial politics,[2] news, media[3] and higher education.[4] In the 1990s he wrote two books about racial politics, The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York[5] and Liberal Racism[6] From 1993 through 1995 he was a political columnist for the New York Daily News[7] and an occasional contributor to The New York Times[8] and to The Nation,[9] The New Republic, and other political magazines. From 1988 to 1993, he was an opinion editor and editorial writer for New York Newsday.

He has written most recently for The Huffington Post on the Obama Administration,[10] Occupy Wall Street,[11] Yale University's venture to establish an undergraduate college in collaboration with Singapore,[10] and gun control in the United States.[12] Sleeper is also member of the editorial board of the journal Dissent.


  • Liberal Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002) (First edition published by Viking/Penguin, 1997 and 1998).
  • The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (W. W. Norton & Co.), 1990; paperback (Norton), 1991.
  • In Search of New York (Transaction Books), 1988. Editor. An anthology of reportage, essays, reminiscences, and photography that was a special issue of Dissent magazine in 1987. Contributors include Irving Howe, Ada Louise Huxtable, Michael Harrington, Jim Chapin, Paul Berman, and many others.
  • The New Jews (Vintage paperback), 1971. Co-editor; essays by young religious radicals of the time.

Chapters in Anthologies:

  • Orwell Into the Twenty-First Century Thomas Cushman and John Rodden, eds. (Paradigm Press, 2005). Chapter: “Orwell’s Smelly Little Orthodoxies – and Ours”
  • A Way Out Owen Fiss, Joshua Cohen eds. (Princeton U. Press, 2003); Essay, “Against Social Engineering,” a response to an “urban removal” manifesto by Yale Law Professor. Owen Fiss.
  • One America? Stanley Renshon, ed. (Georgetown U. Press, 2001). Essay:“American National Identity in a Post-national Age.”
  • Empire City: New York Through the Centuries Kenneth Jackson and David Dunbar, eds. (Columbia U. Press, October 2002). Chapter: “Boodling, Bigotry, and Cosmopolitanism,” about New York City in the late 1980s.
  • Post-Mortem: The O.J. Verdict Jeffrey Abramson, editor (Basic Books, 1996). Essay, “Racial Theater,” about the public staging of the O.J. trial.
  • The New Republic Guide to the Candidates, 1996 Andrew Sullivan, editor (Basic Books, 1996). Essay on Bill Bradley, the non-candidate, and hisconcerns about civil society.
  • Blacks and Jews: Alliances and Arguments Paul Berman, editor (Delacorte, 1995). Chapter: “The Battle for Enlightenment at City College,” on CUNY Prof. Leonard Jeffries and identity politics.
  • Debating Affirmative Action Nicolaus Mills, editor. (Dell, 1994). Essay,“Affirmative Action’s Outer Limits.”
  • Tikkun Anthology Michael Lerner, editor, 1992. Essay, “Demagoguery in America: Wrong Turns in the Politics of Race.” (One of the early, classic critiques of identity politics in the American left.)


  1. ^ "Looking For America". jimsleeper.com. 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  2. ^ "False Comforts" (PDF). Jimsleeper.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  3. ^ Peters, Justin (2011-05-20). "Read Jim Sleeper's Essay on Ressentiment : Columbia Journalism Review". Cjr.org. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  4. ^ "With Friends Like These... Who Will Defend Liberal Education ?" (PDF). Jimsleeper.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York: Jim Sleeper: 9780393307993: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. 1991-09-17. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Liberal Racism: How Fixating on Race Subverts the American Dream: Jim Sleeper: 9780742522015: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  7. ^ "racial roots of the LIRR massacre" (PDF). Jimsleeper.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "The Nation : Blacks and Jews" (PDF). Jimsleeper.com. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  10. ^ a b "Jim Sleeper: Bluster in the Beltanschauung". Huffingtonpost.com. 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  11. ^ "Jim Sleeper: Behind The Snarking About OWS". Huffingtonpost.com. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  12. ^ "Jim Sleeper: Letter to the Marine Who Warned Dianne Feinstein About His Guns and Freedom". Huffingtonpost.com. 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 

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