Next book

FREEDOM'S DOMINION

A SAGA OF WHITE RESISTANCE TO FEDERAL POWER

A powerful history showing that White supremacist ideas of freedom are deeply embedded in American politics.

A broad-ranging history of resistance to the federal government, especially in matters of civil rights reforms.

“Federal power has proven itself, quite consistently, by design and by practice, to be inadequate to the basic claims of citizenship of its people,” writes Cowie, a professor of history at Vanderbilt. The “design” aspect figures in the constant struggle between federal authority and states’ rights. Before the passage of the 14th Amendment, for instance, the Bill of Rights did not apply to state governments, only to what Congress could or could not do. Even the powers of the 14th Amendment, Cowie notes, were trimmed by the Supreme Court—a fact that makes his book timely given current court decisions against past civil rights rulings—which required Congress to establish martial law in the South in order to effect even the small gains of Reconstruction. Provocatively, Cowie argues that resistance to federal authority, as exemplified by Alabama Gov. George Wallace and his “segregation forever” vow, is almost always cloaked in the language of tyranny and freedom—and the freedom demanded by those resisters is won at the loss of freedom of some citizens, almost always members of ethnic minorities. Cowie adds that federal officials have often acquiesced to the demands of the “freedom” crowd, as when Franklin Roosevelt overlooked Jim Crow racism in order to keep White Southern voters: “By successfully wrestling key exemptions for agricultural and domestic workers from federal regulation, much of the Southern racial and agricultural order remained relatively untouched by the long arm of the New Deal.” Toward the end of a lucid narrative that spans three centuries, the author argues that the federal government has been an unreliable ally and sometimes an open enemy of the rights of non-White people. Even so, without federal power, as current events richly suggest, even those tenuous rights would almost certainly be diminished or eliminated.

A powerful history showing that White supremacist ideas of freedom are deeply embedded in American politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2022

ISBN: 9781541672802

Page Count: 512

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A JEW

An important dialogue at a fraught time, emphasizing mutual candor, curiosity, and respect.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Two bestselling authors engage in an enlightening back-and-forth about Jewishness and antisemitism.

Acho, author of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, and Tishby, author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, discuss many of the searing issues for Jews today, delving into whether Jewishness is a religion, culture, ethnicity, or community—or all of the above. As Tishby points out, unlike in Christianity, one can be comfortably atheist and still be considered a Jew. She defines Judaism as a “big tent” religion with four main elements: religion, peoplehood, nationhood, and the idea of tikkun olam (“repairing the world through our actions”). She addresses candidly the hurtful stereotypes about Jews (that they are rich and powerful) that Acho grew up with in Dallas and how Jews internalize these antisemitic judgments. Moreover, Tishby notes, “it is literally impossible to be Jewish and not have any connection with Israel, and I’m not talking about borders or a dot on the map. Judaism…is an indigenous religion.” Acho wonders if one can legitimately criticize “Jewish people and their ideologies” without being antisemitic, and Tishby offers ways to check whether one’s criticism of Jews or Zionism is antisemitic or factually straightforward. The authors also touch on the deteriorating relationship between Black and Jewish Americans, despite their historically close alliance during the civil rights era. “As long as Jewish people get to benefit from appearing white while Black people have to suffer for being Black, there will always be resentment,” notes Acho. “Because the same thing that grants you all access—your skin color—is what grants us pain and punishment in perpetuity.” Finally, the authors underscore the importance of being mutual allies, and they conclude with helpful indexes on vernacular terms and customs.

An important dialogue at a fraught time, emphasizing mutual candor, curiosity, and respect.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781668057858

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon Element

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

Close Quickview