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

Category: Book
By (author): Kendi, Ibram X.
Subject:  HISTORY / African American
  HISTORY / General
  HISTORY / United States / General
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Audience: general/trade
Awards: The National Book Award, Nonfiction (2016) Winner
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Published: August 2017
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 608
Size: 9.25in x 6.00in x 1.75in
Our Price:
$ 27.75
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Winner of the 2016 Nation Book Award, nonfiction
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 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 Quote*"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
Review Quote*"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book."
-George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017
Review Quote*"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society."-The Atlantic
Review Quote*"A staggering intellectual history of racism in America that is both rigorous and ...readable."-New Republic
Review Quote*"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
Review Quote*"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism."
-Seattle Times
Review Quote*"Kendi upends many commonly held beliefs about how racism works, exploring the ideas and thinkers behind our most intractable social and cultural problem."-Boston Globe
Review Quote*"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
Review Quote*"The National Book Awards show the way toward the America we want, not the one we're getting."-New York Magazine