Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.56
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $1.39 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama Paperback – January 1, 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.56
$7.57 $4.36

Frequently Bought Together

Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama + White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son + The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Price for all three: $39.55

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872865002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865006
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wise, a white anti-racism activist and scholar (and author of White Like Me), pushes plenty of buttons in this methodical breakdown of racism's place in the wake of Barack Obama's victory. In the first of two essays, the author obliterates the canard of the US as a post-racial society; bigotry and insititutionalized discrimination, he contends, have simply morphed into "Racism 2.0," in which successful minorities are celebrated "as having 'transcended' their blackness in some way." While racial disparities in employment and income, housing, education and other areas persist, Obama has become an amiable sitcom dad like Bill Cosby, putting whites at ease by speaking, looking and acting "a certain way"-not to mention avoiding discussion of race. In his second, more incendiary essay, Wise concludes that whites must take responsibility for racism. What the majority of whites fail to grasp, he says, is that they continue to benefit from a system of "entrenched privileges" centuries in the making, and that racism remains a serious obstacle for millions of African Americans. There's no sugar coating here for whites, nor are there any news flashes for Americans of color, but Wise bravely enumerates the unpalatable truths of a nation still struggling to understand its legacy of racist oppression.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"From the Civil Rights struggle, to Dr. King's dream, to Barack Obama's election, Tim Wise provides us with an extremely important and timely analysis of the increasing complexity of race on the American political and social landscape. 'Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama,' provides an insightful and much needed lens through which we can begin to navigate this current stage in our ongoing quest for a more inclusive definition of who we are as a nation. It's definitely a book for these times!!!" --Danny Glover, Actor, Human Rights Activist

"His writing and thinking constitute a bulwark of common sense, and uncommon wisdom, on the subject of race, politics and culture. He is a national treasure." --Michael Eric Dyson --Michael Eric Dyson

"The punning title of his book, Between Barack and a Hard Place , belies the sobering material within. Wise paints a stark picture of racial inequality in the United States today. . . .Wise's short book reads like an old-school polemic: Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' for the 21st century. . . . A post-racial United States is an imagined country."--Adam Bradley, The Washington Post --The Washington Post

"From income and jobs, housing, education, criminal justice, and healthcare, Wise masterfully demonstrates the continuing disparities between black and white America. He notes the absence of these issues in the Obama-Biden campaign or the attempt to read structural inequalities through a race-free lens called CLASS. At every step, Wise absolves the Obama campaign of responsibility for their less than candid approach to racial issues, saying that campaign strategists confronted the reality of white racism by side-stepping the issue. . . Wise's book provides welcome relief to the obnoxious self-congratulation that followed Obama's election to the presidency." --Jillian McLaughlin, The Kosmopolitan Online

"This book makes an intriguing argument and is packed with insight. Wise clearly explains the complexity of institutional racism in contemporary society. He continuously reminds the reader that Obama's victory may signal the entrenchment of a more complicated, subtle, and insidious form of racism. The jury is still out." --Jeff Torlina, Multicultural Review

"Wise outlines . . . how racism and white privilege have morphed to fit the modern social landscape. In prose that reads like his lightening rod speeches, he draws from a long list of high-profile campaign examples to define what he calls "Racism 2.0," a more insidious form of racism that actually allows for and celebrates the achievements of individual people of color because they're seen as the exceptions, not the rules." --Jamilah King, Colorlines

More About the Author

"Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, ""One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,"" by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation. Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas: an honor named for the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. He is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White. A collection of his essays, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male, was published in the Fall of 2008."

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
23
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
2
1 star
5
See all 32 customer reviews
This is an important book for everyone to read.
N. Benjamin
Wise's book provides a discourse that not only challenges whiteness and racism, its also fosters this dialogue in which we can all place ourselves in to enable change.
Dhiraj Chand
I'm glad that Mr. Wise, as this book demonstrates, has managed to retain a level head regarding Obama, in spite of those post-election essays.
Chris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Chris on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Wise's several internet essays after the great triumph of hope (Obama's election) last November left me a little worried about him. He seemed a little too caught up in the irrational exuberance of the period as he denounced left wing gadflies who were, in his opinion, spoiling the joy of the moment by continuing to denounce Obama as a pro-corporate militarist front. But in spite of the understandable celebration of having the first black president, there is the inescapable fact that Obama's policies, stripped of the veneer of pretty rhetoric, are hardly different than his Democratic presidential predecessors. In his short time in office, while doing a few small good things, he has already shown his commitment to the fundamentals of the military industrial complex and the re-empowerment of Wall Street speculators. I'm glad that Mr. Wise, as this book demonstrates, has managed to retain a level head regarding Obama, in spite of those post-election essays.

Quoting sources like academic studies and Department of Justice reports, Wise shows that racism is still a serious problem in this society. Black and brown people are 25 percent of the drug users in this country but make up 90 percent of those in prison for drug possession. White people are 70 percent of the drug users yet are only ten percent of the persons in prison for such a crime. A 2001 report from the Department of Justice found that black women were 9 times more likely than white women to be stopped at airports and searched for contraband but white women were 2 times more likely than black women to actually have drugs on them. More blacks than whites are pulled over by police on suspicion of having contraband but white people are actually more likely to have contraband in these incidents.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Moran on September 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tim's work and words are on point. Sometimes the truth is difficult to digest. Keep on Feeding the "RAW TRUTH."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Lhea J. Love on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am thoroughly convinced that we have reached a point in American history where racism can only be addressed and, eventually, abolished though the conscious action of White America. Just as women who speak against sexism are labeled weak and accused of whining; blacks who speak against racism are destined to be accused of 'playing the race card'.

Tim Wise constructs two pithy arguments pertaining the "Call for White Responsibility". First, Wise discusses the denial of racism in the current age. Second, Wise discusses the need for white Americans to confront, attack and reverse the impact of white privilege.

People of all races must be wary of the concept of "transcending Blackness". This is the tendency to accept a select segment of the Black population because the defy the current stigmatism of negative stereotypes. Wise examines this phenomenon in detail.

Second, people of all races must admit that the vast majority of white Americans currently living are not to blame for current systems of racism which are in place. However, Wise is calling for Caucasians to acknowledge any benefits that they may receive from the inherited system and work towards truly equalizing the American experience through the abolition of racism.

If I could suggest that every American read a selection of Tim Wise before they attend an American University, I would. Perhaps the world would be a different place.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is someone who will say what is real and is willing to not hold anything back!! If you want to understand racism and why it is important when we have an african american president, then read this book!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerard on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very interesting. Tim Wise only reiterates what other actiivist people of color have been saying for decades.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Benjamin on May 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important book for everyone to read. Clearly, racism continues to be a significant problem despite the steps taken forward and the fact that we have a black President for the first time. If anything, the ugly head of racism has come to the surface with the election of Barack Obama, the evidence and ugliness of that can be found in many comment sections across the net. I am not talking about valid disagreement with his policies and such but name calling and attacks on he and his family in a way I have never seen before with any other President. Tim Wise has posed some serious considerations for all people and I think it's an important read. It is not always an easy read but it does make you consider many truths, I highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Its been a while since I read this book, but I remember Tim saying that there are different types of American racism: 1.0 (old-fashioned, blatant racism) and 2.0 (transcending your race like Obama's presidency). I highly recommend this book. Tim said there are certain things that President Obama can't say because he doesn't want to offend certain people. I agree. He understands that there is still racism and 'white' denial in the age of Obama, as he said in his title. I should add that they are not the only ones in denial and not every 'white' person is in denial, but I get his point.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sherese hinkle on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every person in this country and abroad should read this book. Tim Wise is brilliant writer and an invaluable asset to the human race. Thank you Tim. I love everything you write.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews