Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do


by Claude M. Steele

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

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“Conveys an understanding of why race remains such a powerful factor even in a society where racial discrimination is seen as abhorrent.” —Adam Serwer, American Prospect

“Startles, beguiles, and challenges as it exposes the myriad ways that threats to our identities exert a powerful stranglehold on our individual and collective psyche.” —Lani Guinier, Harvard University

“An intellectual odyssey of the first order―a true tour de force.” —William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation