National Book Critics Circle Award Winner
New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Review of Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2016
From the Civil War to our combustible present, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.
As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post suggesting that this was, instead, "white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames," she argued, "everyone had ignored the kindling."
Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America's first black President, led to the expression of white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal.
Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Prologue: Kindling 1
1 Reconstructing Reconstruction 7
2 Derailing the Great Migration 39
3 Burning Brown to the Ground 67
4 Rolling Back Civil Rights 98
5 How to Unelect a Black President 138
Afterword to the Paperback Edition. After the Election: Imagining 161
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you want to understand the roots of current racial tensions, read this book. Very well written and well sourced.
Horrific and powerful. I wish this were required reading. We do not learn the truth in American schools. Find out what really happened in the South after the Civil War. Traitor Mitch McConnell is a living member of the Confederacy which - as you will discover in this book - was only defeated momentarily before it was given back the keys and the power to use them in their twisted, hate-filled reign of terror against the newly freed Black population.
I wish every American would read this book. The stories of pain will bring tears to your eyes but it walks you through the systemic processes alive and well in my beloved nation. How did we get here? The history in this book demonstrates that we have always been on this path. Thank you very much for your well-researched documentary.
This book is very hard to get into. A lot of the material presented in this book is common knowledge to Americans, especially black folks. I just wouldn't recommend any books by this author at this point.