Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Spring 1999




Harvard Law School




When I first heard that Bari-Ellen Roberts had written a book about the race discrimination lawsuit against Texaco, I was ecstatic. I was eager to read about the legal strategies that had resulted in the highest settlement award ever given in a class action race discrimination lawsuit. After reading the first few pages of the book, however, I became somewhat disappointed. The first few chapters made it clear that Roberts's book was not about the actual details of the class action lawsuit against Texaco but about Roberts's personal experiences at home, in school, and in the corporate world. As I read further though, I began to realize that the strength of Roberts's book was not in the legal details of the class action lawsuit but in the stories of Roberts and her co-workers. Their stories in and of themselves invoked important questions and arguments concerning a number of pressing legal and social issues. This Book Review will proceed in two parts. First, it will provide a brief summary of Roberts's life experiences as told by her. Second, it will discuss how these experiences serve as a standpoint for evaluating the importance of affirmative action in hiring and the role that whites should play in helping to eradicate race discrimination in employment.


Review of Bari Ellen Roberts, Roberts v. Texaco: A True Story of Race and Corporate America (1998)



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