Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
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 like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
In a way it is too bad the author aligned the book so closely to Jim Crow and brought the argument forward only in terms of racism. The argument really should have less to do with racism than with poverty and a lack of hope.
Yes, more blacks are in jail than other races, especially considering the racial makeup in America. Yes, the prison and policing systems are money making engines. Yes, the war on drugs is a lost cause. And, yes, probably, it was all sculpted to be the way it is.
But that doesn't change the fact that it is the abject poverty and lack of hope or opportunities that is the source of the problem. Born poor and inner city, raised on the streets, attending sub-standard schools, not having any realistic hope of ever pulling yourself or your family out of it... that is the problem. If people had hope and opportunity, they would not turn to drugs or crime, and they would not get a criminal record which further condemns them to a life of poverty.
Changing post-prison reception or perception is not the solution. Crushing the process that impoverishes entire segments of the popluation is the solution. End the abject poverty, show some light at the end of the tunnel, and millions of boys turning to men will not be committing crimes simply to survive.
The narration is fine. There is a specific phrase that is repeated pretty much every chapter which was a bit annoying and redundant, but... I suppose that was the writer's thesis. It was educational enough, but probably too narrowly focused to see the real problem.
The author has provided a well-researched book on the inequities of the American justice system, and on the broader implications of this inequality. I learned a lot, and was greatly challenged by her argument. Yet, as I listened I often found myself thinking, "Wait, didn't I just here that yesterday, and the day before that...?"
Regardless of you political views or race, this is an important perspective of the history of incarceration in our country.
Yes, and SHE achieves this by walking you thru the historical context of the issue and how it is a systemic issue.
It is unfortunate that the audible chapters do not match up with the book chapters making it hard to utilize this version as a tool with the hard copy.
Important information, should make us all uneasy about the future that has been crafted for an entire segment of the population by a combination of the "war on drugs" and commercialization of corrections. My only quibble is that it is a little repetitive. The narration is perfect. Totally appropriate and easy on the ears (if not on the brain).
Definitely. It was eye opening, informative, and well-written.
This book illuminated a huge social and racial issue in the U.S. It was written in an accessible and understandable way.
Her reading is expressive and keeps the listener engaged.
I learned a ton about the workings of the criminal justice system that I didn't know.
It is an eye opening book and some may not agree with everything written as did I. But there is no doubt the author's take on the War on Drugs is dead on. Makes a lot of good points and you have to be willing to be open minded.
The chapters about the war on drugs. It was spot on
Wasnt this type of book.
No, it was a pretty deep and thought provoking book. You need time process it and think about it. So I would put it down and come back to it
As a white male who works in the correctional field I find it eye opening. Didn't agree with everything but there is a lot that makes sense.
What I most deeply appreciate about this work is its depth and fullness, it sincere caring, unapologetic straightforward courage, its clarity, and its point-on focus about one of the greatest, most troubling, and far too often evaded issues this nation faces.
Michelle Alexander is absolutely brilliant, bold, and a true giant in the struggle for human decency and justice. The New Jim Crow shows how contemporary methods have undergone a careful refinement in order to perpetuate the worn-out racial caste system in America.
Comparing the "New Jim Crow" to previous forms of control, Michelle shows how precisely this new systems is tailored to match the subtleties of current conditions, conditions not so apt to exhibit or support more overt forms of bigotry. She shows how stereotypical images in the media about people of color in general, and young black men in particular feed an established belief system in the back of the American mind that continues to want to hold that there are some humans that are better, more valuable than others, that people of color are more prone to criminal behaviors than whites, although the facts suggest that crime is committed at surprisingly similar rates among all people.
What this book clearly shows is that 1. It is much more easier for people of color to get snatched up in the criminal "justice" system than ever before. 2. Once caught, one is stuck in the system for a much longer periods of time than ever before. 3. And once one has paid their debt in this way, one can;t seem to get beyond stigma of the experience of having been incarcerated (loss of rights, inability to get employment, housing, government benefits, etc.).
Michelle acknowledges and does not excuse the deep pain and overwhelming destruction caused by crime, but she carefully shows how the current system is really not so much about eliminating crime as it is eliminating and disempowering the presence of free people of color in this society.
This book is well researched, clean and crisp, presenting an abundance of facts upon which it base its arguments. I would recommend it to anyone who has a heart to care and a mind to know the truth, and the conviction that humanity can set a far better example of what it means to be civilized.
Karen Chilton does an excellent job narrating this work. She helps keep the focus on the work itself, and her reading is flawless.
The enormous amount of knowledge and clarity about this deeply important subject. I plan to listen to it again with more attention to the details.
I am deeply grateful to Michelle Alexander for putting forth such a great effort and producing a work of such quality and value.