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This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism Kindle Edition
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"Astutely diagnoses our nation’s greatest malady. . . . Throughout, the author demonstrates an impressive ability to loop it all together and make it stick. He puts 2020 in context and gives it the language to sing a quietly outraged song. Long on context and analysis, this is a vital book for these times."―Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08LD4S37P
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company (March 16, 2021)
- Publication date : March 16, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3026 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 225 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0316257575
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #95,962 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This book, like so many, discusses our nation’s ongoing racism. Lemon’s remarkable prose piqued my interest immediately. His sentences flow one into the other and he is saying something. It’s not banter.
Similar to James Baldwin, he opens his book with a letter to his nephew, he evokes a sorrowful pitch to his words. Alluding to the death of George Floyd, he reflects on his own outrage. I agree that racism has been present in this country since Columbus met the American Indians. We have had some progress, some, but not enough.
Lemon more than alludes to President Trump.. He gave permission for racism to rear its ugly head before he took office. “I never met David Duke.” Despite the political stance, Lemon speaks to the reader about his family and his partner, Tim. The death of his beloved sister, Leisa in 2018 was a grief-stricken time. I looked up her accidental drowning and read the most brutal comments from racists and Trumpers, I imagine.. Their personal cruelty was more than despicable.
Lemon offers a tiny bit of hope. If the country or large federations can no longer ignore a problem, realistic ideas may arise. He didn’t really add more information or definitive solutions to the blatant racism in our politics or lifestyles. But his prose and vocabulary are eloquent and it is worth reading every word.
My gratitude to NetGalley and Little Brown for providing me with a pre-published copy. All opinions are my own..
The title of the book is a reference to James Baldwin's “The Fire Next Time”, and Lemon starts his book the same way that Baldwin did, with a letter to his nephew. This letter sets the tone, and summarizes his concerns for the future of the country if things don't change. Lemon's powerful, descriptive language exudes frustration and anger; but at the same time he urges the reader to “love people that infuriate us,” if things are to get better.
There are tons of historical accounts and facts in this book that I was not familiar with, and I would suspect that many Americans are not either. Lemon alternates between recounting these documented historical events, and describing his own personal journeys and struggles. This format of connecting America's history with current events, and ultimately with Lemon's own personal experiences, really makes our history seem more “real”, more tangible. I learned quite a bit from reading this book, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it.
I feel like this book is valuable, even just as a historical record of some of the lesser-known atrocities and injustices of our past. You also don't have to agree with all of Lemon's political views to appreciate his perspectives, his passion, and his pain. Lemon's evocative and eloquent words really drive home his message; urging us to learn from our past, so that we can create a better future.
If we really want to have a discussion and not a lecture we need to honestly start with a firm end goal and not the series of moving goalposts he espouses nightly
But, as many things today, the book was written for its echo chamber
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in Canada on April 26, 2021