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

86%

28 Critic Reviews

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

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 election 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, this updated and revised paperback edition of The New Jim Crow, now with a foreword by Cornel West, is a must-read for all people of conscience.
 

About Michelle Alexander

See more books from this Author
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 January 16, 2012 by The New Press. 338 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Crime, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 07 2016
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Critic reviews for The New Jim Crow
All: 28 | Positive: 27 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Nov 02 2009

...“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.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Phillipe Copeland on Jul 26 2011

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.

Read Full Review of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incar... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

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.

Read Full Review of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incar... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Ronald W Weathersby on Jun 18 2011

If you at all curious about the criminal justice system and the “War on Drugs” in our country The New Jim Crow is a must read.

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Huffington Post

Good
Reviewed by Steve Mariotti on Jul 30 2013

With courage and skill, Alexander, a professor of law at Stanford University, lays out these and other horrors of the harshly punitive drug war laws.

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Huffington Post

Good
Reviewed by Marian Wright Edelman on Mar 11 2011

By identifying it and giving it a name, Michelle Alexander has placed a critical spotlight on a reality our nation can’t afford to deny.

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Forbes

Good
Reviewed by Bill Frezza on Feb 28 2012

Whether you agree with her thesis or not, Michelle Alexander makes you think about mass incarceration in a new way.

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The Millions

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Bourne on Oct 29 2012

The statistics Alexander cites, while shocking, are hardly new, and the racially stratified world she describes is visible to anyone with open eyes.

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Daily Kos

Above average
Reviewed by Themistokles on Mar 18 2012

There are substantial elements of truth to her account, but I must agree with Professor Forman that it is missing important elements also...she draws back the curtain on why racial profiling is no longer reported.

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Spirituality & Practice

Above average
Reviewed by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on Feb 15 2016

The author concludes with her own progressive suggestions on what can be done to abolish this unjust replay of Jim Crow as a means of racial discrimination.

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Persephone Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Anne on Jun 24 2013

This book was remarkable. I highly recommend picking it up on your next trip to the library, your local bookstore, or Amazon shopping spree.

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Journey With Jesus

Good
on Feb 16 2016

What we really need is a new public consensus that is compassionate rather than punitive. But it's hard to imagine that will ever happen when so many people benefit from a system that they perceive is much to their own advantage.

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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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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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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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Equal Justice Society

Good
Reviewed by Reggie Shuford on Dec 06 2010

The New Jim Crow is essential reading for anyone who cares about justice, humanity, and the future of our democracy.

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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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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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Sarah Says Read

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah on Feb 03 2016

Michelle Alexander does a fantastic job in making the book easily readable and the ideas flow smoothly from one to the next.

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A Striped Armchair

Good
on Dec 01 2011

I’m not going to get into all of her arguments here; after all, that’s the point of the book. And as a lawyer, Alexander lays it out much better than I ever could.

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Joy's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Joy Weese Moll on Jul 12 2013

Since I’ve read this book, nearly every domestic news story, and the occasional international one, has a new twist or foundation or tone that is invisible to most viewers and, apparently, the reporters, but that I can now see.

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http://buffalorising.com

Good
Reviewed by Beth Lewitzky on Dec 02 2012

Clearly written and well documented, The New Jim Crow should be read by everyone interested in race and criminal justice in the United States.

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The ObamaCrat.com

Good
Reviewed by MR. MILITANT NEGRO on Apr 05 2015

Her broader goal is the revamping of the prevailing mentality regarding human rights, equality and equal opportunities in America, to prevent future cyclical recurrence of what she sees as “racial control under changing disguise.”

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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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http://davidhilfiker.com

Excellent
Reviewed by David Hilfiker on Feb 16 2016

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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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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Reader Rating for The New Jim Crow
88%

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Erin Kramer 5 Sep 2013

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