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Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics
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Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Over the past several years scholars, activists, and analysts have begun to examine the growing divide between the wealthy and the rest of us, suggesting that the divide can be traced to the neoliberal turn. “I’m not a business man; I’m a business, man.” Perhaps no better statement gets at the heart of this turn. Increasingly we’re being forced to think of ourselves in ent ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published December 10th 2015 by punctum books
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 ·  107 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Albert Roberson
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the few politically based, non-fiction books I have read that I didn't want to put down. it challenged my own previously held conceptions and creates a compelling case for serious changes in the way I, and we as a society, need to face the many challenges of today that are related to policy. And I was shocked at how much of the misfortunes many of us face today have there roots in political policy. This book was a must read for me, and should be for many, many others.
Sivananthi T
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for activists who intend to make policy, institutional and structural change. Lester Spence brings together the different strands of how neo-liberal thought has paralysed arenas of activism and action. He also posits some recommendations on the way forward - for that you'd have to buy and read the book.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got this for free, on one of those Radiohead-style pay what you want deals, but then I felt kinda bad about it once I read that the author was broke as an MFN joke. His car broke down, and he couldn't afford to buy a new one, so he was having to ride the bus and accept charity.

Clearly, this guy's own personal failings have informed his opinion on neoliberalism. But that doesn't mean that he's wrong! I found pretty much everything he had to say here on point. If there's a problem with this book
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I will need to read twice to properly absorb the extremely relevant insights that the book has to offer. There are many threads to pull on concerning the effects of neoliberal policies on blacks and the working-class in general. There is much to be said about the institutions, as well as the mode of policy-making that wants to separate the political and economic situations of many blacks today from the institutional history that contributed to these situations.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Spence's short and concise account of the neoliberal turn through a racial lens is marred by poor editing, an odd vendetta against Cornell West exemplifying his fetishistic obsession with organizing over mobilizing (as if either are sustainable without the other), and a general stubbornness in regards to addressing problems to the point where he forgets to convincingly criticize them in the first place. Too often Spence not only misses the forest for the trees but stresses his virtue in doing so ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Compelling and cogent account of neoliberalism's manifestation in Black America
Apr 01, 2016 added it
I heard about this book through Dave Zirin's twitter account.

There are some typos in the book. One that was missed twice is the governor of Michigan is Rick Snyder, not Tom Synder. The grammar contained very few commas. There were also some awkward sentences. I would have preferred the book to have a larger font. (I read the paperback version.)

I would like to have had more solutions in the text, along with more details on them. It can be difficult for me to imagine how a more progressive societ
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-work
Spence presents a thought-provoking thesis on the neoliberal turn and its impact on ethnic minorities, particularly Black people, in the United States. I came away with a novel understanding of different facets of American society and advocacy groups, such as education and Black Lives Matter. I think that this book helped to increase my repertoire of perspectives when trying to wrap my mind around the social injustices of our time. I especially liked the final chapter of the book, which does an ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
I usually don't review academic books here but this one has a lot of heart -- the issues feel personal and immediate -- and it's so much more than academic. Spence makes a lot of connections and gives lots of creative insights into how neoliberalism affects black communities. As I have more personal experience with and interest in the chapter on black churches, I found that the most fascinating. But Spence not only has his finger on the pulse of the rich history of black politics -- and is a ser ...more
Alycee Lane
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Crucial analysis of neoliberal politics and African American communities. My main criticism is that his final chapter on Solutions spent more time rehashing arguments already made and less on actual solutions. Other than that, I think this is a must read.

Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good information, but poorly edited. Especially loved the chapter on solutions.
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Lester K. Spence is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University known for his academic critiques of neoliberalism and his media commentary on race, urban politics, and police violence. He was previously Assistant Professor of Political Science at Washington University, St. Louis. His media appearances and writings include Dissent, NPR, C-SPAN, New Y ...more