• America's Original Sin

  • Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
  • By: Jim Wallis
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-15-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

Regular price: $26.59

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Publisher's Summary

America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin.

"It's time we right this unacceptable wrong", says best-selling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.

In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians - particularly white Christians - urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.

©2016 Jim Wallis (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thought-provoking plea to white evangelicals and white Christians in general." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Raced in America - so true!

Wallis writes honestly and from experience. The phrase, "raced is America," hit home for me. His writing has a unique quality that takes a bit of getting used to, however once you do, he's even more poignant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Important book, but narrator was an amateur

Jim Wallis is an important voice in the American social justice scene, and this is an important book. But this narrator positively butchered the reading. I cringed continuously over his mispronunciation of commonplace words in the Christian vocabulary: Colossians, Barth, koinonia, ekklesia. I was offended by his use of fake European accents in quoting international authors and of a soft, sibilant whisper in quoting female authors (every time -- an utter insult). Even worse was his cartoonish mimicry of The Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr's speaking voice. Audible.com: Never, ever hire this narrator again. And do justice to Jim Wallis by hiring a new narrator to re-record the book.

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Strong Presentation of Good Information

I understand more about racism and it's affect by this work, and that alone is worth the read.

I do not like the preachy tenor of the book. There is a tendency of some religious people to think their analysis, conclusions, and solutions to problems are the only version of the facts .. but, tho the opinions of the author are quite valid, there are other possible solution senerios to a complex situation such as our national culture of racism.

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Convicting and thought provoking

I don't really want to get involved in politics and believe myself to have some lingering prejudices but am mostly supportive of immigrants and their rights and plights. I don't feel like I push a white agenda but this book makes me realize that I am part of the race problem because I do benefit just from being white and not acting against the broken systems we have. We all need to get active against bad policies and stop allowing white privilege to oppress non-whites.

The narrator did an excellent job but I felt the tone of his voice was kind of angry. Maybe that is a what is needed, but i didn't like that the whole book was read with that tone.

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Informative but poorly performed

I learned a lot from this book, and it gave me new perspectives on race, racism, and American culture. I did not enjoy the narration by Patrick Lawlor. He constantly over-emphasized, perhaps attempting to convey the exigency of the text's topic, but ending up making every sentence seem like a matter of life or death. A fuller range of vocalization and emphasis would have made for much easier listening.

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"We all want...."

We all want an education, a job, a family. Thank you Jim. Thank you God,

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  • Craig C.
  • austin, TX United States
  • 03-21-17

A little to preachy

The book was a little to preachy for my taste. It may have seemed that way because it was the audio version. His stories an examples were to inspire optimism, but in the grand scheme of things, seemed to be drops in large bucket. With the rise in Identity Politics exemplified by Trump, his exhortations for liberal identity politics seems to be a losing strategy which helps provoke whites to rally to Trump.

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Good resource

Lots of great data and personal recollection past and present on dealing with diversity from a faith persprctive in the US.

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A primer for theology of racism

Would you consider the audio edition of America's Original Sin to be better than the print version?

This audio book will give the reader a foundation upon which one can build and grow in knowledge of racial deprivation that has occurred in the U.S.A. over a period of four centuries.

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Transformative. Wallis deals with the past, present, and future in regards to the battle against racism.

This book is the best I've ever read in regards to explaining in entirety the historical context of racial oppression in America, it's damage, the current injustices and what needs to happen in order to move forward into a society that represents the new majority of diversity. This is a must read book. It should be the center of dialogue in schools, churches and multicultural relations.