History Department
History Department

"A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America" by Jacqueline Jones (IHS History Faculty New Book Talk)

Wed, January 22, 2014 | GAR 4.100

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The History Faculty New Book Series presents:

A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America (Basic Books, December 2013), by Jacqueline Jones.

Wednesday, Jan. 22 | 2:00 p.m. | GAR 4.100

“Jones forcefully demonstrates how racial ideologies are used to uphold existing power relations and perpetuate injustice, denying some citizens their rightful place in civic life.” - Publishers Weekly, Best of 2013

“A powerful exploration of an enduring myth that has haunted America over the centuries, from one of our best chroniclers of America’s struggle with racial inequality....[Jones is] a graceful writer and natural storyteller...a masterful book about its history.” - Kirkus, starred review

“Heartfelt....In what is the most persuasive and satisfying feature of this authoritative book, Jones relates the stories of six ‘black’ Americans across different eras spanning nearly half a millennium. These riveting tales emerge from Jones’s deep knowledge of African-American history and her brilliant use of previously unexploited sources.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Jones offers a provocative analysis of ‘race’ and the abuse of power.” - Booklist

"Jacqueline Jones is one of the most distinguished scholars on race in America and this book shows why. A Dreadful Deceit is both sweeping and intimate, exploring the long history of racial injustice in America and the inspiring struggle against it through beautifully drawn biographical vignettes. Powerful, eye opening, and original, it reminds us that race and power are the central themes of American history." - Thomas J. Sugrue, David Boies Professor of History and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

"'Race' is one of the most charged words in Americans' public vocabulary, and Jacqueline Jones dismantles it century by century, life by life. The revealing and memorable stories she tells show how the language of race became so pervasive, so deceptive, and so damaging over four centuries of American life." - Edward L. Ayers, author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America

“A masterful work of history, biography, and searing analysis of America’s race conundrum. By skillfully unraveling the fiction of race and its use to rationalize institutional oppression and exploitation over the past four hundred years, Jacqueline Jones has produced an important book of uncommon grace and grit. It is essential to understanding America’s racial legacy and the true calculus of lives that have been diminished and destroyed by the dreadful deceit of race. This book is absolutely required reading.” - Darlene C. Hine, Northwestern University, co-author of The African American Odyssey

“In a variety of settings at different moments in time, this extraordinary book shows just how contingent, malleable, and resilient the notion of race has been in U.S. capitalist development. It also underscores how contemporary usage of race, shorn of its specific historical contexts, obscures more than it explains. Most important, through a meticulous reexamination of myriad permutations of race in American society, this book advances a powerful alternative narrative of U.S. history itself.” - Joe W. Trotter, Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, Carnegie Mellon University

No RSVP needed. Please email Courtney to receive a copy of the reading selection to be discussed.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

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