February 2010 Indie Next List
“In The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander tirelessly researches both the legal history of America's Jim Crow past and the current legal policies that contribute to the mass incarceration of black people. The text adds significantly to scholarship that contextualizes rates of incarceration among blacks and critiques of social and economic inequality.”
— Bruce Smith, Colorado State University Bookstore, Fort Collins, CO
Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. "The New Jim Crow" is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control relegating millions to a permanent second-class status even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."
Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the "Daily Kos," "explosive" by "Kirkus," and "profoundly necessary" by the "Miami Herald," this updated and revised paperback edition of "The New Jim Crow," now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.
About the Author
Cornel West is Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. He is considered one of America's most provocative public individuals and has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist church, progressive politics, and jazz. The "New York Times" has praised his "ferocious moral vision."
Devastating. . . . Alexander does a fine job of truth-telling, pointing a finger where it rightly should be pointed: at all of us, liberal and conservative, white and black.
Alexander is absolutely right to fight for what she describes as a much-needed conversation” about the wide-ranging social costs and divisive racial impact of our
Invaluable . . . a timely and stunning guide to the labyrinth of propaganda, discrimination, and racist policies masquerading under other names that comprises what we call justice in America.
Many critics have cast doubt on the proclamations of racism’s erasure in the Obama era, but few have presented a case as powerful as Alexander’s.
—In These Times
Carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable.
[Written] with rare clarity, depth, and candor.
A call to action for everyone concerned with racial justice and an important tool for anyone concerned with understanding and dismantling this oppressive system.
Undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.