Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)

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9781568584638: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (National Book Award Winner)

WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IN RACE AND CIVIL RIGHTS

FINALIST FOR THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION

THE MOST AMBITIOUS BOOK OF 2016 — The Washington Post

A BOSTON GLOBE BEST BOOK OF 2016

A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2016

A CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2016

A ROOT BEST BOOK OF 2016

A BUZZFEED BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2016

A BUSTLE BEST BOOK OF 2016

NOMINATED FOR 2016 NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK OF NONFICTION

FINALIST FOR THE 2017 HURSTON/WRIGHT LEGACY AWARD IN NONFICTION

A KIRKUS BEST HISTORY BOOK OF 2016

A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2016 TO EXPLAIN CURRENT POLITICS

A KIRKUS BEST HEARTRENDING NONFICTION BOOK of 2016

AN ENTROPY BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2016

THE WASHINGTON POST 2016 SUMMER READING LIST

"ENGROSSING AND RELENTLESS" —The Washington Post

"THIS DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING" —The Root

"NOVELISTIC FLAIR" —The Stranger

"AMBITIOUS, MAGISTERIAL" —Starred Kirkus Review

"MUST FOR SERIOUS READERS" —Library Journal

"HEAVILY RESEARCHED YET READABLE" —Booklist

"WORTH THE TIME OF ANYONE WHO WANTS TO UNDERSTAND RACISM" —The Seattle Times

"EVER-RELEVANT CONTEXT FOR THE WHITE SUPREMACIST MOMENT" —The Dallas Morning News

"A COMPELLING, THOROUGHLY ENLIGTENING, UNSETTLING, AND NECESSARY READ" —Vox

"GRACEFUL, ENGAGING PROSE" —Tampa Bay Times


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. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America--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 proslavery 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.

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About the Author:

Ibram X. Kendi is a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning historian at the University of Florida. In August, Kendi will become Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University. A frequent public speaker, Kendi specializes in the history of racism and antiracism. He is the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation, 2016), which won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is also the author of the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement (Palgrave, 2012). Kendi has written fourteen journal articles and book chapters, as well as numerous op-eds in periodicals like Black Perspectives, Salon, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, and The Root. Kendi has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the American Historical Association, Library of Congress, National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation, Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, Duke University, University of Chicago, and UCLA. Before entering academia, he trained and worked as a journalist. Kendi earned his undergraduate degrees from Florida A&M University, and his graduate degrees from Temple University. Kendi lives in Gainesville, Florida, and will be moving to Washington, DC.

Review:

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, contradictions and unintended consequences."
—The Washington Post

"Kendi has done something that's damn near impossible: write a book about racism that breaks new ground, while being written in a way that's accessible to the nonacademic. If you've ever been interested in how racist ideas spread throughout the United States, this is the book to read."
—The Root

Stamped from the Beginning is "ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism."
—The Seattle Times

"Kendi admits that he is not writing to change the minds of those who produce and espouse racist ideas. Rather, in his honesty about how deeply he himself had held multiple racist ideas before embarking on the historical odyssey of this book, he gives the reader permission to accompany him on that eye-opening journey...Kendi leaves plenty of room for self-questioning, and for drawing connections between the racist apologetics of the past and those of the present. The process makes for a compelling, thoroughly enlightening, unsettling, and necessary read."
—Vox

“An altogether remarkable thesis on history, but, in ways that are both moving and immediately painful, it also reverberates with the post-election autopsy we're all conducting right now... Stamped from the Beginning is a riveting (and often rivetingly written) work, well deserving of the National Book Award.”
The Stranger

"To structure his book, which he spent three years writing, Kendi built it around five major American intellectual figures: Puritan leader Cotton Mather, founding father Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and activist Angela Davis. While showing the reader each of them grappling with questions of race, Kendi places them in the wider context of history with graceful, engaging prose and deeply researched details. Stamped is a book that connects everything from Mather's 17th century theological theories about the souls of Africans to Bo Derek's cornrows in the movie 10, and much more."
—Tampa Bay Times

Stamped from the Beginning provides "ever-relevant context for the white supremacist moment."
—The Dallas Morning News

"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, Associate Professor, Cornell University, and author of We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination

"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."
—Yohuru Williams, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University

"In this tour de force, Kendi explores the history of racist ideas—and their connection with racist practices—across 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 (starred review)

"In his ambitious, illuminating, and engaging book, Ibram X. Kendi seamlessly assembles sources from Cotton Mather to Angela Davis; the Great Awakening to Black Lives Matter; the Birth of a Nation to Hip Hop culture, to show how not only race but racist ideas are at the center of American thought."
—Paula J. Giddings, EA Woodson Professor, Smith College, and author of Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching

"This heavily researched yet easily readable volume explores the roots and the effects of racism in America. 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

"Stamped from the Beginning is a history of how racist ideas are built, and how they are built to last. Understanding this history is essential if we want to have any hope of progress. This book will forever change the way we think about race."
—Touré, MSNBC contributor and author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness

"Kendi's provocative egalitarian argument combines prodigious reading and research with keen insights into the manipulative power of racist ideologies that suppress the recognition of diversity. This is a must for serious readers of American history, politics, or social thought."
—Library Journal

"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, Associate Professor, Brown University, and author of Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil

"Kendi upends many commonly held beliefs about how racism works, exploring the ideas and thinkers behind our most intractable social and cultural problem."
—The Boston Globe

“A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society.”
—The Atlantic

“A staggering intellectual history of racism in America that is both rigorous and ...readable.”
—New Republic

“An intricate look at the history of race in the U.S., arguing that many well-meaning American progressives inadvertently operate on belief systems tinged with a racist heritage.”
—Time

“Self-proclaimed as a definitive history of racist ideas in the US, this exhaustive, encyclopedic opus lives up to that claim. Kendi's mighty tome is breathtaking in its scope.... Both worthwhile and extraordinary.... Essential.”
—Choice

"Racial tensions have seemingly increased over the past year, making Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning essential reading. The book points to the roots of the problem, offering lessons on digging them up."
—Bustle

“By showing how deeply entrenched racist ideas have been — and still are — in America, and thus exposing clearly and discrediting these ideas, Kendi has created not only a great work of scholarship but a much-needed tool.”
—Buzzfeed

“I honestly wish every American would read this book, especially people who haven’t been exposed to the history of blatant, transparent racism in our public policy.”
Chicago Review of Books

“A work as prodigious as the subtitle implies.... Had Kendi only provided history, Stamped from the Beginning would be a meaningful contribution to the literature, but it is so much more. It a call for all Americans to look inward.”
Albany Times Union"

Given our political moment and the work we need to do as individuals and as a country, this book should be on every young leader's bookshelf. It’s not pretty, but the truth often isn’t."
Forbes

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. The unemployment rate for African Americans has been double that of whites for more than half a century. And yet Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled doom for racist policies and racist beliefs. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. 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, provocative narrative, Kendi offers a comprehensive history of anti-Black racist ideas their origins in fifteenth-century Portugal, their arrival in England in the mid-sixteenth century, and their blossoming in the United States, where they became the founding principles of our nation’s institutions and guarantors of its power. Contrary to popular conceptions, these ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era, men like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. In an effort to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and disparities, assimilationists and segregationists alike created, debated, popularized, and defended racist ideas in the modern era, dictating the discussion on race for four hundred years.Kendi narrates this history through the lives of five major characters in American history: early America’s most prolific and influential intellectual, Puritan minister Cotton Mather; the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson; fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison; brilliant scholar and thinker W.E.B. Du Bois; and legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis. Their rich and surprising stories offer a window into the debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists that have marked Black Americans for centuries. As Kendi shows, racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, but they are also easily discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the long, dark history of racist ideas, Kendi offers us the tools we need to expose themand in the process, gives us reason to hope. Bookseller Inventory # 115630669

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