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Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews
A New York Times Editor’s Choice
Nautilus Award Winner
“A worthy and necessary addition to the contemporary canon of civil rights literature.” —The New York Times
From one of the leading voices on civil rights in America, a thoughtful and urgent analysis of recent headline-making police brutality cases and the systems and policies that enabled them.
In this “thought-provoking and important” (Library Journal) analysis of state-sanctioned violence, Marc Lamont Hill carefully considers a string of high-profile deaths in America—Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others—and incidents of gross negligence by government, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He digs underneath these events to uncover patterns and policies of authority that allow some citizens become disempowered, disenfranchised, poor, uneducated, exploited, vulnerable, and disposable. To help us understand the plight of vulnerable communities, he examines the effects of unfettered capitalism, mass incarceration, and political power while urging us to consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to become somebody. Heralded as an essential text for our times, Marc Lamont Hill’s galvanizing work embodies the best traditions of scholarship, journalism, and storytelling to lift unheard voices and to address the necessary question, “how did we get here?"
About the Author
Marc Lamont Hill is an award-winning journalist and host of BET News, as well as a political contributor to CNN. He is a Distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Temple University. He lives in Atlanta and New York City.
Todd Brewster is a longtime journalist who has worked as an editor for Time and Life and as a senior producer for ABC News. He is the coauthor with the late Peter Jennings of the bestselling books The Century, The Century for Young People, and In Search of America, and the author of Lincoln's Gamble.