New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
"An essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went so badly awry." —Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me
In A Colony in a Nation, New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award–winning news anchor Chris Hayes upends the national conversation on policing and democracy. Drawing on wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis, as well as deeply personal experiences with law enforcement, Hayes contends that our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, the law is venerated. In the Colony, fear and order undermine civil rights. With great empathy, Hayes seeks to understand this systemic divide, examining its ties to racial inequality, the omnipresent threat of guns, and the dangerous and unfortunate results of choices made by fear.
Hayes (Twilight of the Elites), host of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, has written a laser-focused, necessary book about U.S. race relations, primarily the black experience, and law and order as they are experienced across the country. Hayes's main assertion is that the criminal justice system creates two separate Americas with borders drawn along racial lines the "nation," or white America, with methods of policing characteristic of a democracy that respects the basic rights of its citizenry, and the "colony," black America, which is policed like an occupied state, trampling on the civil liberties of its inhabitants. Hayes's book has a strong through-line comparing the concepts of law and order. Law is defined in the commonly understood sense, while order is explained as a tool used by the state, through the police, to maintain the status quo. The author also ties in the related problem of our status as the most incarcerated nation in the world and why this punitive system is ineffective. This is an important, persuasive book that, if read, can help Americans begin to heal the divide between these two nations.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Colony in a Nation is thoroughly transformative. It should be required reading for every citizen of this country. Chris Hayes should be recognized as an American treasure and given the highest award our nation offers.
A Book That Describes The City Around Me
This book is a must-read for anyone living in one of America's cities (and highly recommended for everyone else). I live in a large East Coast city and am a member of the Nation. I, like most members of the Nation, live in proximity to the Colony. The difference between the two is staggering, and this book illuminates those differences. The story is bleak but not without hope for the future, for progress.
A Book That Makes You Ask Questions
It may not be a book full of answers but it does have research, context and ideas. If you are willing to learn about how other Americans live in this country than it is certainly worth picking up.