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Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (The George Gund Foundation Imprint in African American Studies)

Amazon.com Price: $19.76 (as of 01/07/2020 18:10 PST- Details)

Notice: The California Department of Corrections has designated this book dangerous contraband. All CA prisoners are prohibited from purchasing or reading this book. Winner of the American Book AwardThis timely special edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, features a new preface by the authors that places the Party in a contemporary political landscape, especially as it relates to Black Lives Matter and other struggles to fight police brutality against black communities.   In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the United States, the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in sixty-eight U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

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Review

“An account that should be called, above everything else, ‘definitive.'”

Bookforum

“Vivid renderings of scene … make comprehensible both the movement and the times.”
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“A comprehensive history.”

New Yorker

“Unique…in the scope and depth of its scholarship.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

Black against Empire is a masterful work…Easily the most impressive, sweeping, and substantive scholarly history of the Black Panther Party.”

Journal of American History

“The book will become a classic.”

American Historical Review

“Nothing short of impressive.”

Social Forces

“The first comprehensive history of the party.”
London Review of Books

“An account that should be called, above everything else,’definitive.’ . . . The book’s honest attempt to understand the intricacies of the movement is underscored by its commitment to nonpartisanship: While Bloom and Martin take great care not to vilify the Panthers as armed thugs, neither do they romanticize them simply as a misunderstood civil rights group. The result is a downright scientific analysis of a subject that leaves most readers understandably unable to stay neutral.”
Bookforum

“Immediately assumes a central and critical spot within the Panther canon. More than a decade in the making, this is no romantic valentine to a bygone day… it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity taking dead aim on American laws and values. . . . What Bloom and Martin have given us is as authoritative, respectful and complete a record of the Black Panther Party’s workings as we are likely to get.”
Pop Matters

“A comprehensive and compelling history of the Black Panther Party. As close to complete as one text can possibly be, it is the book I would recommend to anyone wanting to read just one book about the Black Panthers.”
Counterpunch

From the Inside Flap

“Finally! A book that clarifies the history of our movement, our aspirations, our struggles, and the bitter challenges we faced. This is a profoundly important and revealing work. Everyone who lived through these events, anyone who wants to understand the Black Panther Party, and especially the younger generations striving to shape the future must read this book!”

–Bobby Seale, Chairman, Black Panther Party

“I read Black against Empire while on sabbatical, and it changed something in me. #BlackLivesMatter was created just a few months later. The political history of one of the most misunderstood black political efforts in our nation’s history, Black against Empire offers important considerations for today’s black liberation movement.”
–Alicia Garza, cofounder, #BlackLivesMatter network

“This is the definitive history of one of the great revolutionary organizations in the history of this country. Let us learn deep democratic lessons and strong anti-imperial conclusions from this magisterial book!”

–Cornel West, Princeton

“This meticulously researched history explores the combination of revolutionary commitment and historical circumstance that enabled the emergence of the Black Panther Party. Because they do not shy away from the contradictions that animated this movement, Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin pose crucial questions about the genesis, rise, and decline of the BPP that are as relevant to young generations of activists as they are to those who came of age during that era.” 

–Angela Y. Davis, University of California

“In a stunning historical account, Bloom and Martin map the complex trajectory of the ideology and practice of the Black Panther Party. Going beyond merely chronicling ‘what happened,’ the authors situate the rise and fall of the Panthers within the prevailing, and constantly shifting, political climate at home and abroad. Much has been written about the Party, but Black against Empire is the definitive history of the Panthers–one that helps us rethink the very meaning of a revolutionary movement.”

–Michael Omi, Berkeley

“As important as the Black Panthers were to the evolution of Black Power, the African American freedom struggle, and, indeed, the sixties as a whole, scholarship on the group has been surprisingly thin and all too often polemical. Certainly no definitive scholarly account of the Panthers has been produced to date, or rather had been produced to date. Bloom and Martin can now lay claim to that honor. This is, by a wide margin, the most detailed, analytically sophisticated, and balanced account of the organization yet written. Anyone who hopes to understand the group and its impact on American culture and politics will need to read this book.”

–Doug McAdam, Stanford

“This is the book we’ve all been waiting for: the first complete history of the Black Panther Party, devoid of the hype, the nonsense, the one-dimensional heroes and villains, the myths, or the tunnel vision that has limited scholarly and popular treatments across the ideological spectrum. Bloom and Martin’s riveting, nuanced, and highly original account revises our understanding of the party’s size, scope, ideology, and political complexity, and offers the most compelling explanations for its ebbs and flows and ultimate demise. Moreover, they reveal with spectacular clarity that the Party’s primary target was not just police brutality or urban poverty or white supremacy but U.S. empire in all of its manifestations.”

–Robin D. G. Kelley, UCLA

“The remarkable history of the Black Panther Party–its battles with the police, its repression at the hands of the FBI, its Free Breakfast for Children and sickle-cell-anemia programs, its ability to distribute 100,000 newspapers by hand each week–is in danger of being blotted from memory. This history by Bloom and Martin, based mainly on historical documents, is remarkable in the scope of its narrative and attention to detail. As one who lived through the Panther era, I believe this book should become a standard historical work for years to come.”

–Tom Hayden, author of The Port Huron Statement
“Bloom and Martin have written the first comprehensive political history of the Black Panther Party. They present an unvarnished, judicious treatment of a much-revered, much-maligned, and widely misunderstood revolutionary organization leading the charge for ‘Black Power’ in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They provide persuasive answers to questions about the Party’s rise and fall that others have failed to fully address. All other scholars will henceforth have to grapple with their substantial findings. General readers will find it compelling too.”
–Tera Hunter, Princeton
“An essential, deeply researched, and insightful study–the best so far–of the complex history, inner workings, and conflicted legacy of the Black Panther Party as it waged its relentless battle for human rights and racial dignity in the streets of urban America.” 
–Leon F. Litwack, President, Organization of American Historians

“Bloom and Martin bring to light an important chapter in American history. They carefully mine the archival data to give us an account of the rise of the Black Panther Party, of its successes, and the shoals of American politics on which it fractured. In the process they give full credit to the strategic agency of the remarkable revolutionaries at the center of the story.”

–Frances Fox Piven, President, American Sociological Association

About the Author

Joshua Bloom is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the coeditor of Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy. His articles have been published in American Sociological Review and other venues.

Waldo E. Martin, Jr., is Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History and Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of No Coward Soldiers: Black Cultural Politics in Postwar America, Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents, and The Mind of Frederick Douglass.

Notice: The California Department of Corrections has designated this book dangerous contraband. All CA prisoners are prohibited from purchasing or reading this book. Winner of the American Book AwardThis timely special edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, features a new preface by the authors that places the Party in a contemporary political landscape, especially as it relates to Black Lives Matter and other struggles to fight police brutality against black communities.   In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the United States, the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in sixty-eight U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

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