Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
By Ibram X. Kendi
The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.
Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.
In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.
As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.
In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.
Praise for Stamped from the Beginning:
"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017
"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." - Seattle Times
"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." - The Atlantic
- Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction
- A New York Times Bestseller
- A Washington Post Bestseller
- Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
- Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, - Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy
"An engrossing and relentless intellectual history of prejudice in America.... The greatest service Kendi [provides] is the ruthless prosecution of American ideas about race for their tensions, contradiction and unintended consequences."―Washington Post
"We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... "
―George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017
"A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society."―The Atlantic
"A staggering intellectual history of racism in America that is both rigorous and ...readable."―New Republic
"An intricate look at the history of race in the U.S., arguing that many well-meaning American progressives inadvertently operate on belief systems tinged with a racist heritage."―TIME
"Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism."
"Kendi upends many commonly held beliefs about how racism works, exploring the ideas and thinkers behind our most intractable social and cultural problem."―Boston Globe
Ibram X. Kendi is a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning historian. He is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. A frequent public speaker, Kendi specializes in the history of racism and antiracism. He is the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation, 2016), which won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is also the author of the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement (Palgrave, 2012). Kendi's writings have appeared in Black Perspectives, Salon, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Daily News, Time, The Huffington Post, and The Root.