The author builds the case that the mass incarceration of people is no mistake as the system has been made as the next evolution of the old Jim Crow laws in the south. She focuses on a broken war on drugs that have lead to a normalcy in the poor communities of everyone having a criminal back ground and how that background becomes a scarlet letter keeping them out of society and severely limiting their life choices.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I heard Michelle Alexander speaking about this book, and immediately her premise intrigued me. I'd always known that our criminal justice system was biased, but the scope of it was shocking... and thinking about it as a system as detrimental as Jim Crow had never even occurred to me.
Her exploration of the topic in the book is fascinating. I'm halfway through and I'm already amazed, frustrated and enraged. I've always been concerned about social justice and civil rights. I went to law school because of my passion for these issues. But I didn't realize until this book, just how oppressive and racist our supreme court has been. I'd seen all the cases she wrote about, and had been independently outraged at each of them... but I didn't realize how they all worked in concert to leave no judicial remedy to systematic racism.
As a white man, I find that other white men will occasionally make racist comments or jokes around me. I believe that most of these people feel comfortable doing so only because they believe that real institutional racism is a thing of the past, and so that their own bias is benign. "We have a black president, so racism is over". This book is arming me with a fantastic rebuttal to those people.
This book should be read by every employer, landlord, politician, judge, and prosecutor in the US. Actually it should be read be read by every American, period.
I've often wondered how so many white people could have stayed silent and complacent in the face of Jim Crow. Now I realize that I am guilty of doing the same under a regime that is just as harmful.
This book has changed the way I look at the world. Hopefully it will spark serious reform in this country.
I recommend this book to everyone - it contains ideas that we, as a free democracy must face - how can we assure equal opportunity for all.
This book provides shocking statistics, surveys and testimonials arguing that the War on Drugs has become a war on young black men and is moving a huge percentage of these men into the control of our prison system, often for trivial amounts of drugs.
I thought the narrator read as if this book were a story instead of the important thesis it is. Occasionally the narrator put the emphasis on the wrong words in a phrase, suggesting she was just reading words and not understanding the facts she was reading. Lastly, she pronounced 'lenGth' as 'lenth' and often pronounced 'd' as 't' as in 'Baldwin', 'administration', 'would' and others. It is not the Government 'Accountability' Office, either.
A sobering look at our legal system (along with education and affirmative action) and the horrific effect it has had on the lives of black men (and thus all of us interested in a fair society).
'The War on Drugs' uses the 'Shock and Awe' of our legal system to annihilate the lives of black men.
Is the United States still a racially divided country - using the legal system to discriminate against young black men?
Not only is the 'War on Drugs' lost, but it has annihilated an entire segment of our population - young black men.
How our legal system, through the 'War on Drugs' has destroyed the lives of young minorities, especially blacks.
This book has at least 30 new and inter-related concepts about the war on drugs, the massive incarceration of black men, arrests for tiny amounts of drugs the horrible life of anyone who becomes a felon. the problems with a 'color-blind' society and much more. Slavery and Jim Crow laws in their time may not have been as bad for young black men as the war on drugs is today.
This book also touches on other better-understood systemic problems in today's society, including unequal housing opportunities, unequal education opportunities, the failures of affirmative action and more. These huge intractable issues, along with the author's main topic, the unfairness of the implementation of the war on drugs, provide a grim picture of how difficult it will be to change society to provide 'justice for all'.
The New Jim Crow lays out facts that support the way many minorities have felt for decades.
I particularly enjoyed the education I received on the implementation of the War on Drugs and its unusual timing.
Her ability to encapsulate the the spirit of the person who was speaking in that moment was fascinating. Whether it be a male or female, she was able to fluxuate her tone to embody that person's essence.
The most moving part of the book was when she broke down the response to Drinking and Driving vs. the response to crack cocaine sales and usage. It was at this juncture that all doubt about what was being said in this book was extremely irrefutable.
Assata was my all time favorite book until I heard this fascinating truth. This book is as big of a "must read" as Roots, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Miseducation of the Negro, etc. Thank you so much Ms. Alexander for this rivoting tale.
This book documents the war on drugs with all of its impact on our society. While the war may benefit the owners of commercial jails, the impact on people of color is tragic. It is hard to imagine that this book cn be ignored, and change is inevitable if .it is widely read by intelligent and honest people.
All that is necessary for evil totriumph is for good people to do nothing. I doubt that anyone, even Republicans, will read this book and not seek change..
eye-opening, chilling, anger-producing
Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States
It's much more than a tidbit - it's a call to action for me and my fellow U.S.ers to become aware of what we've allowed to happen because of our indifference to what's going on with the imprisonment of young black men while young white men are ignored for the exact same actions.
Everyone should read this book and then alert others to what's going on.
It's in the upper middle.
No this was the first
No this was the first; however, her reading of the book made it interesting.
I felt that this book was one sided. It put too much focus on blacks being locked up; however, there were points made about self responsibility.
Books like these are good due to the facts that they give; however, it does not offer any suggestions for prevention and being a countable for ones own actions.