The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

4.2 110
by Michelle Alexander

ISBN-10: 1595581030

ISBN-13: 9781595581037

Pub. Date: 01/05/2010

Publisher: New Press, The

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling…  See more details below


Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as "brave and bold," this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that "we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second–class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a "call to action."

Called "stunning" by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David Levering Lewis, "invaluable" by the Daily Kos, "explosive" by Kirkus, and "profoundly necessary" by the Miami Herald, The New Jim Crow is a must–read for all people of conscience.

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Product Details

New Press, The
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Ch. 1 The Rebirth of Caste 20

Ch. 2 The Lockdown 58

Ch. 3 The Color of Justice 95

Ch. 4 The Cruel Hand 137

Ch. 5 The New Jim Crow 173

Ch. 6 The Fire This Time 209

Notes 249

Index 281

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
quarisphere More than 1 year ago
this book is absolutely brilliant. Alexander writes very well, so it's an easy read despite its heavy content. This book provides a compelling case for her assertion that the criminal justice system's overtly discriminatory practices have successfully contributed to undercaste in today's society. It starts a bit slow as I was wondering how she was going to prove her claims, but once you get a little farther in you're hooked! The evidence is APPALLING! It felt like I was reading about the USSR's justice system rather than America's! If white Americans were treated in this insane way, these policies would've been reversed years ago. It is an eye-opening read, especially for someone who is white and not intimately knowledgeable about the US criminal justice system. Highly recommended!!!
EDashwood More than 1 year ago
While any thoughtful person will admit that racism exists in the USA, most still will be shocked by the extent that it's supported, spread and encouraged by government agencies at all levels. This is primarily through the official justice system and enhanced by federal funding and the media, over the past few decades manipulated and fused to a non-issue made into a bugaboo for political ends, the War on Drugs. The author has thoroughly researched and makes a titanium-strength case about this indefensible condition, supported at nearly every turn by the legal system and ignored by our elected and appointed officials. This book should serve as a call to arms for all people who despise the waste of human skills and potential or who have a repugnance against injustice.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (2010) *Thought provoking. *Informative. *Well-developed. *Enlightening & educational. *Well researched with plenty of references. *Gives the reader a history of the "criminal justice system" as a way to control certain ethnic and cultural groups. *The 4th amendment right is explained. *Offers insight to a system that affects and effects each and every person living in America. *Well worth reading to make you knowledgeable about the topic discussed.
Katie_Randolph More than 1 year ago
I wish this book were required reading in every high school, college, and university across the country. Only by educating the American public about the way its criminal justice system has been weaponized against people of color will we be able to bring about change. Mass incarceration is just the latest method of perpetuating our country's long and sordid history of racial segregation, exclusion, subjugation, and brutality. Thank you to Michelle Alexander for her cogent analysis of this insidious perversion of "justice" that for far too long has been hidden in plain sight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books that I've read in over a decade. This book tells it like it is and the "is" ain't pretty. Michelle does a wonderful job explaining in layman's terms how racial control systems are still very much a part of our society today.
Darin Paul More than 1 year ago
Alexander does a masterful job at taking the reader through the history of caste in the US. She then offers a plausible solution, although certanly not an easy one, to the problem. This book should be read by anyone currently affected by drugs and incarceration and by politicans seeking a solution to the problem of exploding deficits and the expense of mass incarceration.
jamirie More than 1 year ago
I can't believe someone was brave enough to write this. The only problem is with the title. The word Genoicide should be in there somewhere. Call it what it REALLY is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alexander makes a great argument here about the criminal justice system perpetuating a new caste system with criminals at the bottom. She does make repeat some points over and again, could have been shorter. Overall recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone should read this book. She did the hard work to understand the reasons why so many people of color are incarcerated.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michelle Alexander delivers a scathing critique and fascinating untold history of mass incarceration. This book makes a strong case for massive reformation to the US criminal justice system and an end to (or, at a minimum, a redirection of) the war on drugs.
mc76NYC More than 1 year ago
This book by Michelle Alexander is an informative and good read about an often neglected subject in the larger realms of social discourse, the large incarceration rates of minority men, most notably those of African heritage. It is particularly helpful for those who wish to learn more about the intersection of the criminal justice system and social justice. For example, how does such an issue affect family life in the Black community? How does the stigma of having a criminal record affect the person when he (or she) is released from prison? This book helps to address these kinds of concerns.
scoopywells More than 1 year ago
I was moved to tears and called to act. Thanks Michelle for uncovering what's been a devastating truth. Justice isn't just!
rogerlig 5 months ago
Valid points, but after fifty pages, you've read them all. The rest of the book is just repetition, to the point of becoming tedious. Okay, we have an underclass, once caused by slavery, then Jim Crow, now by incarcerations for drugs. That's the whole book, right there. Less that twenty words vs. 300+ pages, to get the same message across.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Alexander singlehandedly changed my opinion about race in America. I have been misled and confused about the common fallacies perpetuated by the media, but no more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Al Sharpton hog wash.......another excuse for pillaging and plundering...... Your Friend Tawana Brawley......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JD4short More than 1 year ago
...Alexander's analysis promises to bring into focus the phenomena taking place around us and, finally, separate America's consciousness from the well-intentioned but bleary narratives perpetuated in our news media. Alexander's well researched tour of segregation, the 'war' on drugs, and the frightening course of Supreme Court precedent is guaranteed to keep readers curious, so long as they are willing to dive into the murky waters of race in democracy and wrestle with their previous assumptions. Certainly, the book doesn't lay blame on a concerted conspiracy theory to suppress black people but rather reveals that intertwining agendas of greed, power, fear, and (most of all) convenience combined to create a system that truly does disadvantage the nation's black inhabitants, as a group, in order to feed the system that benefits the prison industry, militarizing police departments, fear-monger politicians, and probably drug dealers themselves, so long as they are either white or can pay enough. If that sounds ridiculous, then read the book and offer counter-arguments. Regardless of the reader's politics, this piece is well-written and tightly researched. Excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enlightening book!
ryeLee More than 1 year ago
Most important book I've ever read! When it comes to race and opportunity in America, the 3 strikes and you're out rule should apply, but not to the individual. It should apply to the Federal Government and its devastating policies. Slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration due to the war on drugs are the proof that evil exists in America. I challenge all Americans to read this book and make their own judgment.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bursting with intelligence and insight, and utterly compelling, this book should be required for every US citizen so they can truly understand the history of race relations in this country and what is going on with race right now. When you read it, you have the sense of a blindfold being pulled off your eyes. It is painful and heartbreaking to read because it all makes so much sense. I would highly recommend reading it in conjunction with The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabelle Wilkerson's Pulitzer Prize winning account of The Old Jim Crow. The terrible, shocking news of both books is that nothing has really changed much since the days of slavery in the way our systems of government control the lives of most African Americans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago