Publication Date: 07/06/2022 ISBN: 9781526633699 Category:

The Second

Carol Anderson

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 07/06/2022 ISBN: 9781526633699 Category:
Paperback / Softback




‘A provocative look at the racial context for Americans’ right to bear arms’ New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

The Second Amendment:
The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Throughout history, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States has protected the right to bear arms. For Black Americans, this has come with the understanding that the moment they exercise this right (or the moment that they don’t), their life – as surely as the lives of Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor – may be snatched away in a single, fateful second.

In The Second, historian and award-winning author Carol Anderson illuminates the history and impact of the Second Amendment: from the seventeenth century, when it was encoded into law that the enslaved could not own, carry or use a firearm, to today, where measures to expand and curtail gun ownership continue to limit the freedoms and power of Black Americans. Through compelling historical narrative merging into the unfolding events of recent years, Anderson’s investigation shows that the Second Amendment is not about guns but about anti-Blackness, revealing the magnitude of institutional racism in America today.

Publisher Review

A provocative look at the racial context for Americans' right to bear arms, Anderson's forcefully argued new book contends that the Second Amendment was inspired by "fear of Black people" - a desire to ensure that whites could suppress slave rebellions -- Editor's Choice * New York Times Book Review * The historian Carol Anderson thinks that America's singular relationship with guns reflects its singular history of racism . . . Anderson's book is a bracing reminder that the defense of rights is not necessarily a liberatory project * New Yorker * [A] powerful indictment . . . Anderson illustrates, often in vividly disturbing detail, the brutal reprisals that have occurred whenever African Americans sought justice on this issue, and the litany of counterattacks by police, politicians, the military, and the courts cements the unassailable veracity of her argument . . . In her passion and precision, Anderson presents a uniquely positioned, persuasive and unflinching look at yet another form of deadly systemic racism in American society that has stoked the centuries-long crimes of insecurity, inequality and injustice -- Starred Review * Booklist * Carol Anderson brings her brilliant analytical framing to one of our most pressing issues: the proliferation of guns and the epidemic of American gun violence . . . A must-read for students of American History -- Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, former U.S. Poet Laureate, author of Memorial Drive The second amendment, as Carol Anderson deftly establishes here, was written in the blood of enslaved black people. Our stalemated gun rights debates have focused on the idea that the second amendment preserves liberty rather than its historic role in denying it. This book does a great deal to change the parameters of that conversation -- Jelani Cobb, New Yorker staff writer, author of The Substance of Hope Extraordinarily important . . . In her trademark engaging and unflinching prose, Dr. Anderson traces America's racist history of gun laws from the 1639 Virginia colony's prohibition on Africans carrying guns to the recent police murders of Breonna Taylor and Emantic Bradford, Jr. . . . Anderson's deft scholarship convincingly places the right to use force at the center of American citizenship, and warns that the Second Amendment, as it is currently exercised, guarantees that Black Americans will never be equal -- Heather Cox Richardson, author of How the South Won the Civil War Carol Anderson brings her storied sense of the intertwining of past and present, her keen insights into the wiles of racism, and her passionate prose to this extraordinary take on the meaning of the Second Amendment. This is a necessary history of the roots of gun obsession in slavery, racial assumptions, legal and political fictions that may have put America on a 'fatal' spiral we can only hope to prevent. Let's dream that this book echoes across the partisan canyon -- David W. Blight, Yale University, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom An extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism * New York Times Book Review on WHITE RAGE * I've read a fair bit of African-American history, but White Rage, which is beautifully written and exhaustively researched, illuminated for me just how deliberately education policy in the United States disenfranchised African-Americans * Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on WHITE RAGE * This trenchant little book will push you to think not just about the vote count but about who counts, too. * New York Times on ONE PERSON, NO VOTE * A sobering primer on the myriad ways African American resilience and triumph over enslavement, Jim Crow and intolerance have been relentlessly defied by the very institutions entrusted to uphold our democracy. * Washington Post on WHITE RAGE *

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