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The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which originally was intended to prohibit barriers to black registration and voting, has been hailed as a triumph for civil rights and as a catalyst for the election of minorities to public office in both the Deep South and the urban North. To advance its objective, federal courts instructed many cities to change from at-large to single-member district electoral systems as a way to ensure that minorities had a reasonable chance to elect representatives of their choice. In the first book to critique the implementation of this landmark legislation in a major American city, Ruth Morgan examines its effect on local governance over forty years in Dallas and shows that it had unintended consequences for racial politics, representation, and public policy. Breaking from studies that measure the success of the VRA in terms of increased minority representation. Morgan assesses the consequences of the Act for Dallas city government - and for the wider interests of minorities as well. While endorsing the original intent of the VRA, Morgan believes that this intent was subverted by subsequent amendments to the Act and by the courts' attempts to advance the politic