The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The “explosive debut” (Kirkus) from a rising legal star in America arguing that we have not ended racial caste in America—we have simply redesigned it

“A troubling and profoundly necessary book.” —The Miami Herald

Finalist, Letitia Woods Brown Book Award
Winner, Emerson Award
Finalist, Silver Gavel Award
Finalist, Phi Beta Kappa
Winner, NAACP Image Award
Winner, Constitutional Commentary Award
Silver Medal Winner, Independent Publishers Association

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 presidency 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.

Praise

“[Written] with rare clarity, depth, and candor.”
Counterpunch
“Undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.”
Birmingham News
“Alexander is absolutely right to fight for what she describes as a ‘much-needed conversation’ about the wide-ranging social costs and divisive racial impact of our criminal-justice policies.”
—Ellis Cose, Newsweek
“Many critics have cast doubt on the proclamations of racism’s erasure in the Obama era, but few have presented a case as powerful as Alexander’s.”
In These Times
“A call to action for everyone concerned with racial justice and an important tool for anyone concerned with understanding and dismantling this oppressive system. ”
Sojourners
“Devastating. . . . Alexander does a fine job of truth-telling, pointing a finger where it rightly should be pointed: at all of us, liberal and conservative, white and black.”
Forbes
“Invaluable . . . a timely and stunning guide to the labyrinth of propaganda, discrimination, and racist policies masquerading under other names that comprises what we call justice in America.”
Daily Kos
“Carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable.”
Publishers Weekly

News and Reviews

More than five years after its initial publication, the underlying ideas in Michelle Alexander’s The

Photo courtesy of Center for Constitutional Rights

Two important decisions on Monday, August 12, indicate significant progress in the efforts to reform our criminal justice system: in New York City’s Floy

C-SPAN

C-SPAN has selected The New Jim Crow to kick-off their new online book club. You can join the conversation on Twitter with #BTVBookClub and participate in the discussion on March 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Colbert Report

Michelle Alexander on The Colbert Report discussing her book, The New Jim Crow

Books by Michelle Alexander

El color de la justicia
La nueva segregación racial en Estados Unidos

Michelle Alexander