As featured in the documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy
Finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
Longlisted for the National Book Award in Nonfiction
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by:
Washington Post * Boston Globe * NPR* Bustle * BookRiot * New York Public Library
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, the startling--and timely--history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin.
In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.
Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.
In this insightful study, Anderson (White Rage), Charles Howard Candler Professor of African-American studies at Emory University, scrupulously details the history of racially and politically motivated disenfranchisement in the United States. She focuses on four tactics that are currently harming the principle of "one person, one vote" enshrined by the Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr: voter identification laws, voter roll purges, gerrymandering, and "starving minority precincts of resources to create untenable conditions at the polls." Keenly aware of both legal and social barriers to voting (such as lack of access to transportation, the internet, or wheelchair ramps), Anderson lays out in clear terms often aided by damning, surprisingly blunt quotations from the perpetrators how systems for disenfranchisement have been conceived, implemented, and defended. She illustrates their effects using relevant numbers and other statistics: for example, black Alabama households are three times more likely than white ones not to have access to a car, in a state where public transit is virtually nonexistent. She also takes a deep look at the multipronged, successful effort to restore black voters' access to the polls to defeat Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore in 2017, suggesting this as a model for future change. Anderson brings home that the current state of voting rights in parts of the U.S. is reminiscent of the height of Jim Crow. Anyone interested in American democracy or how equality can be not only legislated but realized will find this account illuminating and clarifying.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not Safe for Fact or Science Deniers
A truly astonishing look at just how far some people will go to win an election. It’s a shocking read, but it’s not something we can change if we don’t know how far it goes. Luckily, it ends on a hopeful note. Required reading for everyone who loves democracy.