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Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
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Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,317 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

Nautilus Award Winner

“A worthy and necessary addition to the contemporary canon of civil rights literature.” —The New York Times

From one of the leading voices on civil rights in America, a thoughtful and urgent analysis of recent headline-making police brutality cases and the systems and pol
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ebook, 272 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Atria Books
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  1,317 ratings  ·  169 reviews


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Start your review of Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
Paquita Maria Sanchez
"...the death of Michael Brown is not merely a throwback to a wounded racial past but also a thoroughly modern event. It is not only the repeat of the age-old racial divide but also a statement of a relatively new public chasm that has been growing for years. This divide is characterized by the demonization and privatization of public services, including schools, the military, prisons, and even policing; by the growing use of prison as our primary resolution for social contradictions; by the deg ...more
Tiffany Reads
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read quite a few books over the past few years dealing with police brutality, systemic racism, and general inequalities and some of them have been fluff pieces and others were groundbreaking in the material they presented so I was not sure what I was getting into when I started reading Nobody. The topics range from the killing of unarmed black men, to the water crisis in Flint, to the most bone chilling concept of feeling like a "nobody" in a place that is supposed to be your home. This b ...more
Andre
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Marc Lamont Hill presents a lot of statistics and data along with copious notes to posit that Black people, by and large represent the collective Nobody. He uses the recent killings of African-Americans at the hands of the police to explore the policies and practices that have created and sustain this environment that allows for deadly force by paid officers when confronting the Black citizens of America. The book reads like a recent recap of the more prominent cases of police misconduct and bru ...more
Blakely Brown
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be incorporated in to high school and college U.S. history curriculums across the nation. Marc Lamont Hill does an excellent job bringing to light the social, cultural and economic aspects of deeply rooted racism in America. While Hill cites a great number of statistics and empirical studies, he is careful to not lose sight of the humanity and vulnerability of the subject at hand.
Nicole
I found very little new information in "Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable...", but I'm still very happy to have read it. Written and published before Trump's victory, the message in "Nobody" is even more ringing as we cope with the aftermath. We are a fractured society, but what we're sensing collectively isn't wrong. "What our current age is hiding is...troubling. No matter how many politicians try optimistically to mask the fact, manufacturing, as we have long known it, is ...more
Harper Miller
Social science is my thing. I totally nerd out. *cheesy grin*

I purchased this book for research purposes but reading it soothed a bit of an ache. I needed to be reminded now more than ever why having compassion isn't a bad thing. Why it's my responsibility as a citizen of the United States to care for vulnerable and underserved individuals who reside both inside and outside of my community. Marc Lamont Hill has done a fantastic job highlighting the social, cultural, and economic disparities that
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Mehrsa
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but it did not feel like an original contribution. It was devastating and well-written, but it felt a bit scattered. It tried to cover so many recent events and their historic underpinnings.
David Renfrow
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy book to read by any stretch of the imagination as it talks about how American society has in many ways both overtly and through state sponsored laws allowed Blacks, Latinos, the poor, the mentally I'll and the LGBTQ community to become throw away people. But an important book about racial, social and economic injustice and the ways that we can combat these inequalities.
Christian A Moulton
This book is exactly what I'd wanted: lots of data and examples and historical context and ideas about why civil rights are such a hot mess right now. This really brings civil rights issues out of the 60s and up to the present, being written during the 2016 presidential campaign. This covers, but goes much deeper than, police brutality. Take the time. Also, it's not nearly as long as it looks-about 45% of the book is footnotes and an index. Thank you, Dr Hill, for thanking the time!
Conor Ahern
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
In "Nobody," Marc Lamont Hill addresses what has been called "disregard." Understanding that "hate" is too blunt and charged a term, this might describe a (mostly) passive, inhumane disinterest for one's fellow humans and citizens. In order to do this, you have to disregard their humanity: mostly this takes the form of ignoring their plight, but at times it calls on its sufferers to doubt the pain they express or the innocence they claim, to assume the best of their tormentors even against the w ...more
Amy Layton
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
I read this book to kick off my black history month TBR.  And wow, this book packs a punch.  Though it's only been a few years since many of the horrible, news-covered murders of people such as Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, this book serves as a serious reminder as to why people are angry and why we still need to be angry.  

Hill analyzes the justice system, defenses, prosecutions, personal history, and laws surrounding each case.  He deconstructs biases and offers insight as to how the general
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Hay
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This. Book.

"Nobody" is one of the few books I've read that's been so recent, it was almost a refresher of what I'd already witnessed play out online and on television. To hear each of account in detail - the death of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and more - with a road map to trace back how these scenarios aren't just one-off occurrences was eye-opening. So much so, that I truly feel this book should be required reading from now on in schools because of how honest and straightforwar
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Corban Ford
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking, insightful, and oh so important, this book had even more meaning for me just because as I read I drew off of my own life experience and that of my family, my friends, my people. Marc Lamont Hill did a wonderful job writing this and shedding light on the often forgotten ramifications of these horrific acts to the community, oftentimes well after the initial catastrophe has occurred and everyone has "moved on". If I had to critique one thing, it would be that Hill seemed to have ...more
Sonja
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hill writes with a grave, urgency in a deeply-researched accounting of the wars on our home soil: War on Crime, War on Drugs, and War on Terror - and how those wars have created the injustice experienced today by the vulnerable. He has given me a deeper understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement - a cry to "see" me as a somebody, not a nobody.
He names Michael Eric Dyson as an important mentor and I see it in his writing. These men are important scholars and voices in the 21st century and m
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Molly
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: race, pure-politics
I liked this one, and there's certainly a lot of value here. I was hoping for more focus on Flint, as I feel that that story has been really underreported, but that only came with about 30 pages left to go in the book. I did appreciate the deeper context given to the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Freddie Gray in particular. Other than that, I think Michelle Alexander told the story of mass incarceration and forgotten American communities better. If more of the book ha ...more
Anthony Locke
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This was a tough book to listen to because Hill seeks to expose various ways minorities, particularly black people, are systemically discriminated against. His goal is to show how various systems sees black people as invisible and spotlight the humanity of these people who are nobodies. Lots of interesting thoughts here - he goes after the broken window theory, zero-tolerance policing, how plea bargains and settlements work against black people, the entanglement of market forces in prisons, and ...more
Lauren Millard
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Did you know we have FOR PROFIT PRISONS in our prison system? So people are making money by making sure people get arrested. If that doesn’t make you mad... it should.

This was a really good and important read. I majored in sociology with an emphasis in criminology so this was completely up my ally and this felt like it connected a lot of dots things I learned about in college and it was focused on the disadvantages that POC experience. I think it’s a very important read and I would absolutely r
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Melissa
"The sense that we all occupy the same community has been eroded, and in its place we witness the gross exaltation of the individual, the discrediting of social welfare as nothing more than a 'nanny state,' the 'privatization of risk,' and a message that if you are living on the underside of the American economy, it is no one's fault but your own."
Malia
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a naive, white female, I just looked at the headlines of all the injustice in the America I call home. This book opened my eyes to so many details the headlines, purposefully, left out. Everyone in America, White especially, should absolutely read.
Chris
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important primer on the ways that America has marginalised huge portions of its population through government and private institutions that perpetuate inequality. Difficult but essential reading.
Amelia
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: race-racism, essays
Making the case for intersectionality!
Reese Lightning
Powerful, clear, and should be taught in all American History classrooms. Published just before the "election" of the orange guy, I'd be very interested in an update addressing changes since then.
Ebs
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read. Great book
Kyle
None of Our problems have been fixed. We just keep rolling over the same old ground.
Linda
A recollection of some of the atrocities that have to the "Nobodies" mostly black, many poor. Just the first of my reading on this issue.
Aunnalea
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Marc Lamont Hill is brilliant. He is steadfast in his convictions and doesn’t shy away from the complications that come with his positions. I do not recommend listening to this on audiobook. I didn’t love the narrator.
Rachel Simone
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2019
Powerful book that clearly lays out connections past, present and future.
David Leonard
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must read. While discussing recent events, from Fergusson to Flint, Hill pushes the conversation, demanding that we look at the socio-political and economic histories behind, within, and anchoring these realities of racial violence. "This book has told the stories of those marked as Nobody in America," writes Hill. "By spotlighting the social, current, and economic conditions that undermine the lives of the vulnerable, I hope to have offered a thicker analysis of the current crisis" (181). As ...more
Josh
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The most frequent response I have when trying to discuss race relations with people of a similar identity to me (white, male, raised in suburbia) is, "You always have a response to every point. Can't you just shut up and let me say my points and let it be at that?"

That's the most frustrating thing about trying to effectively discuss these problems, from my perspective, with the White America that I am a part of. One of the beautiful achievements of Hill's book is that it recognized the nuance
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Karen
This is one of those books that is hard to rate. It's hard to say you liked a book that covers material so unsettling and so true. I think, for me, I work with clients who experience the "little" injustices every day. It is those things with which I am more familiar but, like Hill says, "For the vulnerable, it is the violence of the ordinary, the terrorism of the quotidian, the injustice of the everyday, that produces the most profound and intractable social misery." Hill uses various cases from ...more
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Dr. Marc Lamont Hill is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.

He is currently the host of BET News and VH1 Live, as well as a political contributor for CNN. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Hill is Distinguished Prof
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“When prisons are privatized, issues of crime and justice are taken out of the realm of ethics or morality and placed squarely within the culture and logic of the free market. In doing so, the mission of rehabilitating or even punishing people is trumped by the market-driven goal of maximizing shareholder wealth. Further, market-based notions of “efficiency” prompt prisons to divest from everything but the crudest institutional resources. Healthful foods, mental health resources, and educational programs all become fiscal fat that must be trimmed by the prison in order to maximize the bottom line. In simple terms, we have created a world where there is profit in incarcerating as many individuals as possible for as little money as necessary.” 7 likes
“Furthermore, by injecting moneymaking into the relationship between a citizen and the basic services of life—water, roads, electricity, and education—privatization distorts the social contract. People need to know that the decisions of governments are being made with the common good as a priority. Anything else is not government; it is commerce. One” 6 likes
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