Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness
2010
Availability
Map It
Annotations

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race. - (Baker & Taylor)

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.
- (Blackwell North Amer)

"We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it," declares Alexander (of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law, both at Ohio State U.) as she sets forth the case that the old functions of Jim Crow--the legal exclusion of African Americans from civil rights to voting, housing, equal employment opportunities, etc.--are now accomplished through the mass incarceration and subsequent stripping of legal rights of black and brown people at rates that are far disproportionate to their participation in criminal activity. Mass incarceration, in its essence, creates and maintains racial hierarchy much as earlier systems of social control through "a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race." She describes how the so-called "War on Drugs" operates to strip people of rights, shows how racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes are not explainable in terms of crime rates, demonstrates the systems of discrimination that face those released from prison, examines parallels between this system and the old Jim Crow system of legal discrimination, and challenges those who care about civil rights to come to grips with the implications of this new caste system. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) - (Book News)

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.
- (Perseus Publishing)

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.
- (Perseus Publishing)

Author Biography

Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University and holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Formerly the director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Project in Northern California, Alexander served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor, emeritus, at Princeton University and is currently Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary.
- (Blackwell North Amer)

Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at Ohio State University and holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Formerly the director of the ACLU&;s Racial Justice Project in Northern California, Alexander served as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor, emeritus, at Princeton University and is currently Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary.
- (Perseus Publishing)

Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

Book News

"We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it," declares Alexander (of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law, both at Ohio State U.) as she sets forth the case that the old functions of Jim Crow--the legal exclusion of African Americans from civil rights to voting, housing, equal employment opportunities, etc.--are now accomplished through the mass incarceration and subsequent stripping of legal rights of black and brown people at rates that are far disproportionate to their participation in criminal activity. Mass incarceration, in its essence, creates and maintains racial hierarchy much as earlier systems of social control through "a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race." She describes how the so-called "War on Drugs" operates to strip people of rights, shows how racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes are not explainable in terms of crime rates, demonstrates the systems of discrimination that face those released from prison, examines parallels between this system and the old Jim Crow system of legal discrimination, and challenges those who care about civil rights to come to grips with the implications of this new caste system. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Choice Reviews

Alexander's first book is not an academic work, but a polemic about what social justice activists have come to call mass incarceration. She argues that despite the election of Barack Obama, a racial caste system still exists that plays out by locking up African American men. Alexander (law, Ohio State) offers a clear perspective on "lockdown" in chapter 2, where she focuses on the war on drugs. She claims that the way the criminal justice system seems to work is a far cry from how it actually works. This drug "war" is more about the lack of constraints on the police. Additionally, the author implicates the US Supreme Court for turning a blind eye to the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. Alexander blames the civil rights movement and the call for colorblindness as a culprit in clamping down on African Americans, although at first glance, the call looked to be progressive: "far from being a worthy goal, however, colorblindness has proved catastrophic for African Americans" (p. 228). With all the work the author did researching her subject, she does not come close to producing a scholarly text. The book's advertising promises more than it delivers. Summing Up: Not recommended. Copyright 2010 American Library Association.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that "[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as "a system of social control" ("More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850"). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the "war on drugs." She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates "who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits." Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: "most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration"—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that. (Feb.)

[Page 45]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface xiii
Introduction 1(19)
The Rebirth of Caste
20(38)
The Lockdown
58(37)
The Color of Justice
95(42)
The Cruel Hand
137(36)
The New Jim Crow
173(36)
The Fire This Time
209(40)
Notes 249(32)
Index 281

Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1