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James W. Russell was born in New York and grew up in Oklahoma. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and has taught at universities in San Francisco, Texas, Oregon, Mexico City, and Connecticut. Currently he teaches sociology and directs the Latin American Studies Program at Eastern Connecticut State University. From 1990 to 1992 he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City. In 2001 he served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.

He is the author of a number of articles in publications such as Monthly Review, The Nation and The Progressive and has written seven books including:

Class and Race Formation in North America (University of Toronto Press)

?"A critically important people's history of North America"?Dan Zuberi

Double Standard: Social Policy in Europe and the United States (Rowman and Littlefield)

?"A wonderful book: erudite and sophisticated, yet lucid and to the point"?Frances Fox Piven