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No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA [Kindle Edition]

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo , Noam Chomsky , Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Retracing the steps of the first civil rights and whistleblower act of the 21st century, this chronicle follows young, black, MIT-educated social scientist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, shortly after she landed her dream job at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The account illustrates how the author attempted to convince the government to investigate allegations surrounding a multinational corporation, suspecting that they were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of South Africans who were mining vanadium—a vital strategic mineral. Documenting Coleman-Adebayo’s shocking discovery that the EPA itself was the first line of defense for the corporation in question, this record depicts how the agency stonewalled, prompting the author to expose them. The agency’s brutal retaliation is captured in detail, revealing their use of every racist and sexist trick in their playbook, costing the protagonist her career, endangering her family, and sacrificing more lives in the vanadium mines of South Africa. Finishing on a hopeful note, the recollection concludes with the upwelling of support the author received from others in the federal bureaucracy, detailing how her subsequent grassroots struggle to protect future whistleblowers ended in victory.

Editorial Reviews


"Intensely gripping. . . . Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's story refuses to leave the reader's memory. She is a cool force of nature whose example teaches how to stand down fear and victoriously stand up for what is right. More will be right when others join her."  —Ralph Nader

"A remarkable book: absolute must reading for anyone who cares about civil rights, whistleblowers, and justice."  —Stephen M. Kohn, executive director, National Whistleblowers Center

"A taut legal thriller…Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's memoir No Fear had me hooked from the first lines."  —Essence

"Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's account of cowardice and betrayal at the EPA demonstrates that heroines like herself are indeed necessary. . . . The same agency that facilitated the poisoning of miners and their families in South Africa allows its own citizens to sicken and die for the sake of corporate profits. Do not ask for whom the whistle blows—it blows for all of us."  —Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report

"Dr. Coleman-Adebayo presents the public a trenchant critique of how the US government too often not only turns a blind eye, but also enables the worst kinds of human rights practices by its multinational corporations abroad. Her unique insider position and her principled commitment were what made her dangerous to the federal bureaucracy. Thankfully, she did not give up. This book is a must-read if you’re concerned with government accountability and want a rare inside look at the toll willful government negligence can take on individuals, families, and communities."  —Danielle Brian, president, Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

"Marsha's insider's account, told with startling clarity, is a call to action. Her courageous accomplishments, especially with the No FEAR legislation and Coalition, have helped to fortify and protect those who take up that call."  —Dr. Willard R. Johnson, MIT professor emeritus of political science 

"Marsha Coleman-Adebayo clearly and engagingly tells us Americans a truth that we might not want to hear but should."  —Dal LaMagna, author of Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets It Right

"This is an inspiring and worthwhile trek through one woman's brave battle against a system favoring the powerful."  —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the founder and president of the No Fear Institute. She served as the executive secretary of the EPA’s Environment Working Group, working with their delegation to the Gore/Mbeki Binational Commission during the Clinton administration. Her victory in the Title VII complaint of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in Coleman-Adebayo vs. Carol Browner inspired the passage of the No Fear Act of 2002.

Noam Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist and social critic considered by many to be the world’s foremost intellectual. He is the author of 120 books.

Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy is a former liaison to Congress and three former presidents for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He organized the “I Have a Dream” speech on the National Mall in 1963, was a cofounder of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the District of Columbia's sole congressman in the House of Representatives for 20 years.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2395 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1556528183
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HF3QF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,892 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaking Truth to Power September 1, 2011
"David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David."
I Samuel 17:49-50

Taking on the United States government, who has shown itself capable of printing as much money as it needs when it is deemed necessary by circumstances to do so, is to face an infinite army of Goliaths. When the challenger is one person, an African-American woman, and her attorney who is working on a contingency basis, armed only with the twin modesties of truth and persistence, to hold any hope of success seems foolish, if not mad. Yet, it is the force of facts upon which justice rests. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, for ten years, was its champion, a relentless pursuer of the protective guarantees provided by law.

No Fear is Ms. Coleman-Adebayo's account of her long struggle to correct the systemic racism within the Environmental Protection Agency, from which she had been fired, during the early years of the Clinton-Gore administration through the early years of the Bush White House. Dubbed as the first civil rights and whistleblower legislation of the twenty-first century, the No FEAR Act assures federal government employees that the law is on their side when they report corruption, criminal activity, and unlawful discrimination within the government.

After being reared by her mother Marsha Coleman attended Barnard College, and later earned her doctorate from MIT where noted activist, Noam Chomsky, served on her dissertation committee.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! January 17, 2012
This is a well-written case study of bureaucracy at its worst. The author's emotional and moral integrity are compelling. Anyone who has visited the 3rd world and seen the abuses by the 1st world will appreciate this story of courage, suspense, and inspiration to fight for what is right. I am grateful for Coleman-Adebayo's specific descriptions of how she and her colleagues were treated by cavalier, even hostile, supervisors. It is this type of honesty which helps the world heal.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Glad We Shared This In Moment Time September 25, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"NO FEAR ~ A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA" depicts in many ways those historical freedom riders, protest marches and the Montgomery Alabama "bus" boycott participants led by esteemed leader Dr. Martin Luther King. They would all be so proud of this book.

This book is a spell bounding time capsule of modern day events that mirrors history and exemplify a divine antidote against everlasting evil while offering a dosage of eternal vigilance.

I remember distinctly sitting in a conference room with Dr. Marsha Colemen-Adebayo who we affectionately know as "Marsha". We were told that our No FEAR law -- sitting in a Congressional Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC under the control of committee Chair, Senator Joseph Lieberman -- "was dead on arrival".

Yes, much like Black Americans who were degraded and literally forced to take a back seat on the bus during the infamous "Jim Crow" era in the 1960's and before, it appeared that our heartfelt dreams and concerns would be trumped by political operatives deciding that passage of the No FEAR ACT as the first 21st Century Civil Rights legislation under a Republican President (BUSH) would be the wrong thing to do.

But as the tears welled up in our eyes I looked at Marsha my Co-Chair on the No FEAR Coalition and asked; Marsha can we still get this bill pushed out of Congressional Committee and passed with so much political opposition in this national Democrat versus Republican climate.

I will always remember Marsha's words to me at that time. "Yes Matthew, we can make this happen."

And so, at that time the lyrics to a famed song by Whitney Houston became reality that day. It was one moment in time when we where racing with destiny.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Cinquex
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As Vietnam era veteran with 25 plus years of civilian federal employee, I can certainly identify with the type of discrimination, racism, retaliation and worst that was exposed in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding read! April 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I learned so much about injustice, the environment, passion, hard work, courage, joy, pain, suffering, civil rights, the US government, South Africa, vanadium and of a fearless Leader,Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. The best book I've read in a long time! The impact of the information I gained from reading this book will stay with me.
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