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You can’t help thinking that these times seem suspiciously similar to the post-Reconstruction period, when conservative Southern politicians ripped through all the gains made by African-Americans after slavery. Now we find them doing the same thing to the gains made since the end of segregation. Intelligent people know that nothing good can come of this. Black or white—it really doesn’t matter, the increasing size of the black underclass is a threat to America and all it alleges to stand for. Carl Rowan knows this. His new book, The Coming Race War in America: A Wake-Up Call, shows how the conservative attack on black America is in fact an attack on all of America. Rowan reads at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 8th & Independence Ave. SW. $16. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. Also on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919. (Ta-Nehisi Coates)