The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

86%

10 Critic Reviews

She has exposed for all to see that racial caste is alive and well in America. If you care even a little about racial justice, The New Jim Crow should be on your bookshelf. It is the most important book you will read this year.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

As the United States celebrates the nation’s “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status—much like their grandparents before them.

In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
 

About Michelle Alexander

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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 at Princeton University.
 
Published February 9, 2010 by New Press, The. 306 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Crime, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The New Jim Crow
All: 10 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 1

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Phillipe Copeland on Jul 26 2011

She has exposed for all to see that racial caste is alive and well in America. If you care even a little about racial justice, The New Jim Crow should be on your bookshelf. It is the most important book you will read this year.

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Eurweb

Excellent
Reviewed by Dennis Moore on Mar 06 2012

Alexander’s The New Jim Crow has started a much needed discussion around the world...This book is a call to action, a book that I highly recommend.

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International Socialist Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Leela Yellesetty on Sep 01 2010

Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, is a must-read for anyone trying to come to grips with the explosive growth of America’s prison population in the past three decades—and how this growth relates to the racial disparity in imprisonment.

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Boston Review

Below average
Reviewed by James Foreman, Jr. on Jan 01 2011

But while these authors show that the analogy has much to recommend it, is it entirely accurate? And if it’s wrong or incomplete, what does that mean for how we think about—and think about challenging—mass incarceration?

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Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Johnna Christian on Mar 01 2012

It is troubling to call The New Jim Crow...satisfying, because the message it conveys is so disturbing. Yet, the work is a fine achievement because it forces the reader to view the present alongside an era we thought we left far behind, rendering the devastation of the New Jim Crow.

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Freedom Socialist Party

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Cook on Feb 01 2012

Michelle Alexander’s new book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-blindness is a compelling exposé of deep racism in the U.S. criminal justice system.

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Equal Justice Society

Excellent
Reviewed by Reginald Shufford on Dec 01 2010

Densely written yet eminently readable, the book is loaded with persuasive evidence, including historical parallels to previous racial caste systems...

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The Curvature

Good
Reviewed by Cara Kulwicki on Dec 06 2011

And yet, this book is still invaluable in what it does accomplish: a vital primer for how racism and white supremacy function at all levels of the criminal justice system...a necessary read for anyone whose vision of social justice hopes to actually address race as a major axis of oppression in the United States.

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David Hilfiker

Good
Reviewed by David Hilfiker on Oct 01 2011

Alexander’s book is very disturbing, and I wouldn’t expect you’d be able to digest the whole thing immediately. But her book is the most important work in the fields of race and poverty in decades.

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Friends of Justice

Good
Reviewed by Alan Bean on Aug 04 2010

On virtually every page she drives her thinking deeper than previous writers have been willing to go, backing up her conclusions with rock-solid scholarship....If you can only afford to buy one book this year, make it The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

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Erin Kramer 5 Sep 2013

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