Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

By Ibram X Kendi
A searing history of how racist ideas were created, disseminated, and entrenched in America

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy
"The most ambitious book of 2016."-The Washington Post

Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled the doom of racism. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading pro-slavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.

Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them--and in the process, gives us reason to hope.



    REVIEW QUOTES
"An engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America.... The greatest service Kendi [provides] is the ruthless prosecution of American ideas about race for their tensions, contradiction and unintended consequences."--Washington Post
Longlisted for the National Book Award 2016 [An] engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in AmericaThe greatest service Kendi [provides] is the ruthless prosecution of American ideas about race for their tensions, contradictions and unintended consequences. Washington Post An accomplished history of racist thought and practice in the United States from the Puritans to the present In this tour de force, Kendi explores the history of racist ideasand their connection with racist practicesacross American history. Racism is the enduring scar on the American consciousness. In this ambitious, magisterial book, Kendi reveals just how deep that scar cuts and why it endures, its barely subcutaneous pain still able to flare. Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review Heavily researched yet easily readable The narrative smoothly weaves throughout history, culminating in the declaration that as much as we d like it to be, America today is nowhere near the postracial country that the media declared following the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The hope here is that by studying and remembering the lessons of history, we may be able to move forward to an equitable society. Booklist "Richly sourced and engaging, Ibram X. Kendi s Stamped from the Beginning is a highly accessible yet provocative study that seeks to complicate our understanding of racist ideas and the forces that produce them." Dr. Yohuru Williams, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University "Ibram Kendi is an important new voice in African American intellectual and social history. This book, an intellectual history of racist ideas, promises to break important new ground for scholarly and general audiences interested in the construction of racism in America." Peniel E. Joseph, author of Stokely: A Life and Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour "Both a penetrating treatise and a wonderfully accessible work of intellectual history, Stamped from the Beginning reveals the heritage of ideas behind the modern dialectic of race-denial and race-obsession. By historicizing our entrenched logic of racial difference, Kendi shows why "I don't see color" and other professions of post-racialism remain inexorable alibis for white supremacy. Stamped from the Beginning has done the cause of anti-racism a great service." Russell Rickford, author of We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination "Stamped from the Beginning delivers a timely and bold corrective to the history of racist and anti-racist ideas that explodes our understanding of the root of anti-black violence as we know it today. Kendi s deft analysis of key thinkers from Cotton Mather to Angela Davis illustrates how racial thought, specifically debates about racial difference, take shape across space and time and influence racial policies and the persistence of racial discrimination. This book is a must read for those interested in working to unearth the foundational ideas and practices that hinder true racial progress. Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, author of Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil "
"Richly sourced and engaging, Ibram X. Kendi s "Stamped from the Beginning" is a highly accessible yet provocative study that seeks to complicate our understanding of racist ideas and the forces that produce them." Dr. Yohuru Williams, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University "



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About the Paperback

Publisher Nation Books
Publish date 08/15/2017
Pages 608
ISBN-13 9781568585987
ISBN-10 1568585985
Language English

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