A prestigious publisher of academic book reviews has selected Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States (MIT Press) by economics professor Rob Fairlie and research associate Alicia M. Robb as one of the best books it reviewed in 2009.

Choice magazine selected only 652 titles as an "Outstanding Academic Title" from more than 7,000 the magazine reviewed last year, out of 25,000 books submitted for review. Choice is published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, and reaches 35,000 academic librarians and faculty in nearly every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.

"It took us over seven years to conduct the research for the book. It's nice to have been selected by Choice as one of their outstanding academic titles for the year," Fairlie said.

Race and Entrepreneurial Success is the first comprehensive examination of why some racial groups succeed in business while others struggle. Fairlie and Robb write that business ownership has been the ticket to a higher standard of living for millions of entrepreneurs, but persistent racial disparities hamper would-be African-American business owners.

The writers found that African-Americans don't get the same boost from self-employment that Asians and whites enjoy, largely because they lack financial capital, education, and opportunities to work in a family-owned business before setting out on their own.

Choice also selected Be Always Converted: An American Poetics (Harvard University Press) by literature professor Rob Wilson as an outstanding academic title for 2009.