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Publisher's Summary

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the US, the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the US government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with powerful allies around the world.

Black Against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence.

Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling.

©2013 Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. (P)2016 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A prodigiously researched work, utilizing academic literature, personal memoir, and conversations with former Black Panther members and associates...." ( Publishers Weekly)

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the explanation of rise and fall Black Panther

this was a thought provoking listen. the details of how the US government worked to discredit this movement is disturbing

12 people found this helpful

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Excellent!! Who Knew??

Of course one knows about the Black Panthers, but does one “really” know about the Black Panthers? Their influences, their alliances and the many influences as the Civil Rights Movement gave way to the Black Power Movement.

This book does an excellent job of telling their story from rise to fall. Perhaps the only shortcoming is the failure to effectively tie in the utilization of drugs to the destruction of their effectiveness. I don’t want to suggest that it was the only reason, but another reason & was totally excluded from consideration.

In any event the lessons are many & the ask in the conclusion as to why no similar insurgency type organization exists today, is just as cogent of an ask, as any in the book. Well done! BTW, the animated story telling is the best that I’ve heard, to-date & this was about my 5th audible.

6 people found this helpful

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Very Informative. Quite a bit of jumping around

The voice of the narrator didnt exactly match the material being narrated. But the overall content was excellent. Getting the hardback

3 people found this helpful

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good book, but distractingly non linear

good Book, and I'm sure highly researched, but the author does a horrible job of keeping things linear... he'll talk about one person or another doing this or that at a point where the story still has them in jail or already dead -- and when you're trying to get the context of something you never knew anything about it makes it very difficult.

the opening few hours are riveting and very well told and then it gets dry and as I said nonlinear

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just a very good book

Awesome book another must read for young ppl simply to understand what the real struggle is

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Excellent

I've read some great books on the black panthers, from Assata and Angela's autobiography, the assisination of Fred Hampton, this is one of the best books I've read on the subject. If your looking to educate yourself on the Panthers movements, and your reading the comments trying to decide, trust me, read this!

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Great book

Awesome book. Love the actual history. this should be mandatory reading in highschool s everywhere.

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pure excellence. very informative and useful

absolutely loved the book. full of useful information. A genuine in depth look into an untold history of the Black Panthers people's liberation movement

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Insightful!

Great content explaining the origin of various strategies, concepts and key leaders in the party.

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Amazing history of which I knew little

This history of the Black Panthers is so informative; I've learned so much. The were active when I was a kid growing up in Boston so I certainly knew of them along with the Students for a Democratic Society. I saw protests against the Vietnam War, civil unrest, race riots and more on the news. There were riots in Boston even. I understood many of the reasons, but this history gave me a broader understanding of how the Black Panthers came to be, what law enforcement and the government did to try to break them down, and why the organization ended.

I listened to this for Black History Month, but you can read or listen to this at any time. I recommend that you do, whether you know nothing or you know a lot about them. The narration is excellent which is important when there are so many names, dates, and activities.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Aston Jones
  • 09-20-16

just the facts. <br />

although it is a well trodden road. this is a well researched and concise price of work.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dean Teasdale
  • 04-05-22

Remarkable.





In 1969 and 1970, in Chicago, a city with twice as many whites as blacks, police killed 59 black people as opposed to 19 white people.

All across urban America police regularly visited black neighbourhoods to murder blacks on flimsy pretences and spurious evidence, all without repercussions or chance of redress.

Even civilian whites could murder innocent blacks without any chance of conviction.

Cops routinely barged into black houses, including those of the families of those they'd murdered, without any thought of producing a warrant.

The fact that none of this was something I was solidly aware of, but that I was aware of the negative image of the Panthers spread by their previous allies and fellow travellers after their breif heyday, just goes to show how effective the illegal actions of the FBI in sabotaging the group were.

After the sewing up of the legal loophole that allowed the Panthers to carry guns to publicly police the police, they encouraged people to keep guns at home, and several times this helped them to see off the illegal entry of police attempting to intimidate the families of those the police had murdered.

The Panthers ran a very successful 24 hour ambulance service, with members qualifying as paramedics. They ran a bus service so urban black people could visit relatives in prisons.

They ran free breakfast clubs for children extensively (the police even raided these), and educational programs.

They responded immediately, effectively, and with passion, to the needs of the people, for little or no reward, and frequently at the risk of their own lives, while the FBI used every dirty trick and illegal manoeuvre, including assassination, infiltration, and the instigation of torture and murder against them.

The ridiculous thing, demonstrated by this book, is that the height of oppression generated influence and
respect for the Panthers, that the more repression thrown against them, the more recruits were generated.

If the terrified racists in power, from Hoover on down, had instead provided to black neighbourhoods safety, reasonable redress, effective public services etc, the Panthers radical political stance would have had no support.

Fascists are fools.

The Panther's remarkable and compelling reimagining of the position of black Americans, and their unbeleivably brave stand to protect their communities is a breathtaking show of what people can do when they value each other.

The argument of this book is that ultimately what ended the Panthers wasn't their enemies in the state, but their effectiveness. They were an extreme reaction to an extreme problem, and as the pressure eased, support waned.

I'm glad to have read this balanced and comprehensive history of a remarkable Group 🙂

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  • Michael Gayle
  • 07-31-17

Gives another insight of the Panthers

This was a very gripping book that gave in my opinion a balanced view of the positive and negative aspects of The Panthers. The narration was wonderful, all I can say is that I would recommend this book for anybody who wants to gain a greater understanding The Panthers.