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Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide Hardcover – September 8, 2015
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“An instant classic of political journalism by one of the nation’s most gifted public intellectuals. Joy-Ann Reid offers a searing analysis of the Clintons and Obama in a brilliant work that is at once epic historical saga, gripping social thriller, astute frontline reportage, and edifying political tract.” (Michael Eric Dyson, author of the forthcoming The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America)
“A profoundly necessary text. ... Takes on the ambitious task of connecting the contemporary Democratic Party to fifty years of fascinating and fast-paced historical change. ... If you plan to vote in 2016, you need to read Fracture.” (Melissa Harris-Perry, Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University and MSNBC host)
“Joy Reid has written a book that we should all read. She lays out politics in a clear and concise fashion, and we can all learn from her honesty and conviction to get the politics of America right.” (Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and the Founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School)
“Reid brilliantly mines well-known post-civil rights movement political ‘moments’ to illuminate the slow-shifting and all-too-often slyly static role of race in shaping the political landscape. ... And in the telling, she suggests we may yet choose to heal our fractured country.” (Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
“Provocative and well-argued.” (Kirkus)
“Illuminating and accessible. ... Reid pulls no punches... and presents a balanced view of [Obama] and his administration.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Fascinating. ... A Compelling examination of racial issues in national politics.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Every page... is alive with historical heft and context.” (South Florida Times)
From the Back Cover
Barack Obama's speech on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches should have represented the culmination of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of racial unity. Yet, in Fracture, MSNBC national correspondent Joy-Ann Reid shows that, despite the progress we have made, we are still a nation divided—as seen recently in headline-making tragedies such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore.
With President Obama's election, Americans expected an open dialogue about race but instead discovered the irony of an African American president who seemed hamstrung when addressing racial matters, leaving many of his supporters disillusioned and his political enemies sharpening their knives. To understand why that is so, Reid examines the complicated relationship between Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, and how their varied approaches to the race issue parallel the challenges facing the Democratic party itself: the disparate parts of its base and the whirl of shifting allegiances among its power players—and how this shapes the party and its hopes of retaining the White House.
Fracture traces the party's makeup and character regarding race from the civil rights days to the Obama presidency. Filled with key political players such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton, it provides historical context while addressing questions arising as we head into the next national election: Will Hillary Clinton's campaign represent an embrace of Obama's legacy or a repudiation of it? How is Hillary Clinton's stand on race both similar to and different from Obama's, or from her husband's? How do minorities view Mrs. Clinton, and will they line up in huge numbers to support her—and what will happen if they don't?
Veteran reporter Joy-Ann Reid investigates these questions and more, offering breaking news, fresh insight, and experienced insider analysis, mixed with fascinating behind-the-scenes drama, to illuminate three of the most important figures in modern political history, and how race can affect the crucial 2016 election and the future of America itself.
More About the Author
During the 2004 presidential campaign, Reid served as the Florida deputy communications director for the 527 "America Coming Together" initiative, and was a press aide in the final stretch of President Barack Obama's Florida campaign in 2008. Reid's columns and articles have appeared in the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Times and Salon.com. She is currently producing a documentary, "The Fight Years," which takes a look at the sport of boxing during the 1950s and 1960s in Miami.
Reid graduated from Harvard University in 1991 with a concentration in film, and is a 2003 Knight Center for Specialized Journalism fellow. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband and family. Follow her on Twitter @JoyAnnReid.
Top Customer Reviews
Joy also elucidates how, after Clinton soundly defeated Robert Dole in 1996 for his second term, he was ‘buoyed by a growing economy and accelerating job growth’. Joy reports on, under Clinton’s watch: the expansion of federal housing and Head Start programs, earned income tax credits for the poor as well as tax credits for businesses to hire the underemployed; and 20% hike in minimum wage.
Joy sheds light on Rev Jesse Jackson’s and his successful grass root efforts to bring more African Americans to the polls that lead to the ‘revamping and changing the structure of the Democratic Party’. This ‘generation of newly minted African American voters’ nominated Bill Clinton into office and also ‘… allowed Obama small-state victories leading to his two wins’.Read more ›
I also like that I can slow down and read every word she has written. She talks so fast on news programs and I miss some of what she says at times.
Brilliant woman, fabulous writer and a true intellectual of the nth degree.
Joy-Ann Reid writes as if she is just plain talking to you and she doesn't give her opinion, just the facts from Roosevelt up to today.
Every voter should read this book. Every concerned American should read this book. It is a wealth of knowledge that we all need to know, remember and ponder our actions and our morality.
For me, the value of the work lies in Ms. Reid's juxtaposition of racially symbolic events with demographic and electoral milestones. For example, despite the extraordinary caution of President Obama's forays into racial issues, there has been a severe backlash among White voters. In November 2008, Sen. Obama won the votes of 43% of Whites nationwide. Within a year of his inauguration White support had evaporated, apparently because of the miasma of racial acrimony (and scare tactics used by Republican strategists to defeat the Affordable Care Act of 2010).
Ms. Reid makes the case that this miasma was the result of Red State Democrats and Republicans (and their news outlets) aggressively peddling ginned-up stories of racial confrontation. In effect, President Obama's opponents were demanding from him a plenary absolution from allegations of racism, and were angered when they didn't get it. It's hard for me to discern whether or not Ms. Reid made her case well, because it was like persuading me that wood floats in water.
The book addresses the development of ties among leaders in the African American community, their connection to the Clintons, and the dilemmas faced in supporting Pres. Clinton. Ms. Reid's book is rather light on these dilemmas: Pres.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Political opportunism at it's finest. Joy Ann Reid can't exactly plop Tea Party racism into the Obamas' laps. Read morePublished 18 days ago by K. Freed
This book gave me deeper insights into political maneuvers as these relate to Black voters.Published 1 month ago by IV Barrett
Great read. Filled with facts that I had no idea. Joy is a great writer. Gives an historical account of politics going back to the 60s.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The reason I now obtain books from the library rather than purchase to own them is the deception that authors like Reid use in attracting your attention. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ms. Joy Ann-Reid has penned a gem of a book here about what she saw on the way to the "Obama Revolution." And what she saw was not pretty. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Herbert L Calhoun
The author did an excellent job of bringing this recent political history back to the forefront and making the connections to the climate today. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sahar
I highly recommend this to anyone who values a balanced human perspective on germaine events of our time.Published 2 months ago by Mark Collins