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One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy
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One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  2,359 ratings  ·  476 reviews
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 prese
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, recs
An accessible introduction to the history of disenfranchisement in America, One Person, No Vote examines the resurgence of voter suppression across the nation since the 2000 election. Carol Anderson argues that Republicans have responded to their growing unpopularity not by developing more inclusive policies but by systematically depriving people of color, especially Black people, of their right to vote. Chapter by chapter, Anderson details the sly and underhanded ways in which Republicans have ...more
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One Person, No Vote chronicles the insidious practice of voter suppression that has not only shaped shameful parts of our nation's history, but is still in practice today. Hiding behind the fake battle cry of voter fraud, one party leverages strict voter ID requirements, voter roll purging, closing of voting stations, and gerrymandering to systematically diminish the voting power of certain demographics while inflating the influence of its own supporters.

You know, if I were in politics, and I re
This is a terrifying look at racially motivated systematic voter suppression. The author not only provided the latest information but also a history of voter suppression.

The book is meticulously researched and well written. Anderson writes in an academic style. The 2016 presidential election was the first election held without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. In 2013 the Supreme Court revoked parts of the Voting Rights Act. Anderson proved step by step that the low turn out of black
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
5 stars for content and 3 stars for style, One Person, No Vote explains how voter suppression, a racist and abominable part of the United States’ history, continues on to this very day. I appreciated this book because Carol Anderson writes with clarity and intelligence about how racist practices we associate with the past (e.g., poll taxes, literary tests) still occur, in the form of voter ID requirements, gerrymandering, voter roll purging, and more. Even if some of ya’ll might go off on me in ...more
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an accessible, comprehensive overview of voter suppression (and its underlying racists motivations) in the US.

This was short--about 150 pages--which I really appreciated. Anderson's writing was clear, concise, and generally enjoyable (though the topic itself is utterly infuriating). I liked the fact that the book is noticeably partisan. I think sometimes nonfiction authors think you can't let any partisanship show in order to be a true work of nonfiction, but quite frankly that's bullshi
To those Americans not born yesterday there are no revelations here. One of our two major political parties has determined electoral success depends upon undermining democratic values and depriving hundreds of thousands of citizens of their right to vote. The vast majority of these disenfranchised Americans are black or Hispanic and reside in states formerly subject to the Voting Rights Act.

Unfortunately, as Ms. Anderson so carefully documents, it is not a new page in the book of American polit
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a well-researched and clearly articulated account of historical and on-going voter suppression in the US. The details here will astonish and infuriate any conscientious citizen. Required reading.
Danny Cerullo
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book immediately puts to bed the silly myth that the results of the 2016 election were due to apathy on the part of African and Hispanic Americans. Their votes were suppressed, deliberately. This country has a long tradition of suppressing minority votes. Laws passed over the years have made it harder but the conservatives have responded with increasing ingenuity. And now with the gutting of the VRA there seems to be very little limit to how far they'll go to thwart the concept of one perso ...more
Traci at The Stacks
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Super relevant and timely. Well researched and smart. The writing is very dry. Lots of figures and data points. A thorough break down of voter suppression in a technical way.
Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
As in her previous book, White Rage, Carol Anderson packs a ton of information into a small space with One Person, No Vote. This overview of voter suppression in America, from Reconstruction into the present day, will enrage you. As it should.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anderson has long been an outspoken critic of voter ID laws, voter roll purges, and other practices she argues are disenfranchising primarily African American and other minority voters in America's biggest cities. I admit I was skeptical of Anderson's claims (and similar claims from other African American voting rights activists) over the years, but as mid-term elections were approaching, I wanted to give the case a fair hearing. I was probably heavily influenced by two books I've read this year ...more
Nadine Jones
This book is so important, and so detailed, and so depressing.
5 stars for important information
2 stars for being so dense

I love Carol Anderson, but this book (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I usually prefer factual books ) has too much detail.   Too much detail, not enough flow.  I had a tough time getting through it.  

In the first chapter alone, there’s an entire textbook’s worth of information packed into those 40+ pages.  It’s exhausting and demoralizing reading about all the wa
Kimberly Sabatini
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Another mind-blowing, heartbreaking, anger making, hope generating book that I highly recommend
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
An incisive and terrifying look at systematic, racially motivated voter suppression in America and the destruction it is wreaking on our democracy. One Person No Vote traces the history of voter suppression in it's worst forms through modern day shenanigans that are not obvious to the average person. Slow to start, this does feel like a fairly academic book, but having finished I want to find out what I can do to help improve this abysmal reality. It takes time to read, but it is also quite shor ...more
Luke Goldstein
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As we hear from so many in conservative circles, the Constitution is law and it's the defining document everything should flow from. OK, I think in a broad sense we can all agree that's where our country took the first shaky step towards the vision of a Democratic Republic. Yet, almost from the time the Equal Protection Clause was enshrined to protect our right to votes as citizens for those we want to represent us in Congress and elsewhere, it was attacked, undermined, avoided, and even openly ...more
Wick Welker
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read to understand the current corrosion of American democracy.

Carol Anderson performs an undeniable scholarly, well-research and impassioned demonstration of voter suppression, both modern and past. She takes time setting the table explaining the reconstruction era and the attempts thereafter to stop black people from voting. You'll learn about poll taxes and literary taxes in quite good detail.

The bulk of the book is spent on modern attempts of voter suppression. Anderson makes a compel
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

Do you enjoy being enraged by a book? Do you live in Kansas or Alabama? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you have to read this book. Of course, your location doesn't matter, but this book will hit even harder if you are currently living in Kansas (more to come on that later).

This book starts with a history of voting rights for black Americans. This covers Jim Crow laws, lynching, socially making sure bl
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prof. Anderson is really one of the most lucid and timely voices in contemporary America. This is not some bumbling self-referential and epistemologically closed off to a broad audience academic tome. This, despite the fact that each argument is clear, factual, and well documented. This is not some complicated tripping over itself, equivocal hyper-qualified narrative. It is a clear mirror to the political landscape of contemporary America. And it shows the ugliness of it all, and the courage and ...more
Mal Warwick
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Democrats tend to act as though the greatest harm that results from all the recent monkeying around with voter registration and election mechanics is that the Republican Party gains an unfair advantage. That's true, of course, as far as it goes. But what is often lost in the debate about voter suppression, gerrymandering, and voter ID laws is that they disproportionately disenfranchise African-Americans and other people of color. The reality is that these widely employed Republican tactics are r ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The time indicated by the reading dates is not an indictment in the merits of this book. I had it in currently reading list for so long because I kept getting an ebook from the library then time would expire and then I’d have to wait my turn to borrow again.

But, Carol Anderson has done it again. She follows up the brilliant award winning White Rage, with the equally brilliant One Person No Vote! Here she gives us a behind the scenes peek at the GOP voter suppression tactics that are currently b
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Passionate rant against the history of voter suppression, especially against African Americans and other non-whites, and which is continuing today through various (mostly Republican-led) schemes, often cloaked under a banner of Voter Fraud, which is usual code for "people I don't like are voting for people I don't like." It is appalled by the deliberate blindness of the Supreme Court in voiding the Voter Rights Act, and documents the clearly racist rule changes put into place immediately after m ...more
Joshunda Sanders
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A jarring and important overview of the many ways that the right to vote has been suppressed, denied and tampered with for millions of citizens since the beginning of our democracy. Certainly significant as the 2018 midterms approach, but also in light incremental and accelerating rollbacks of key aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Of particular interest are appalling historical moments featuring Jeff Sessions and Kris Kobach, among a number of bad actors and platforms that have been key ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Carol Anderson rips the bandaid off the festering sore that is the American Electoral System in this well researched and troubling book. Through voter roll manipulation, gerrymandering, voter suppression, Jim Crow intimidation of voters and other tactics, white supremacists continue to work hard to ensure their party and candidates have remained in power throughout America.
I would recommend this book to every reader interested in Democracy and the Democratic Process, regardless of political pers
Angie Reisetter
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well-researched and well-written, this book clearly outlines voter suppression in the US: its history and its status. It made me want to holler and wave it overhead to get everyone's attention. It's a quick read. Voter suppression is the most un-American, anti-democratic thing we do as a nation. It's one of the most important issues facing us today, since it precludes solving many other problems. This is a great read. A frustrating, maddening, horrifying read. But a great read. Thank you Carol A ...more
Cristie Underwood
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author did an amazing job highlighting the voter oppression that has occurred in our Democracy since 1865 until the present. Every person that is of voting age needs to read this book and then register to vote if they aren't already. There are many hard lessons from the past to learn from in this book, but the point is that we learn from them and not repeat them. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Essential reading. We are so messed up.
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before I read this book, I would have said I had a decent understanding of voter suppression in the US - I didn't think there was a lot of voter fraud going on, I knew about some of the issues with lack of places to register to vote, lack of polling places, etc. Now that I have read this, I realize that I only knew about the very tip of the iceberg. The idea of being able to vote and having your vote count is the very basis of democracy, or it should be. The sheer audacity of the steps that have ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book does a great job explaining the history and contemporary iterations of voter suppression, and how closely tied things like voter ID laws are to Jim Crow poll taxes and literacy tests.

I think I came into this with a certain expectation that didn't feel totally fulfilled. I recently read Oluo's So You Want to Talk about Race, and really enjoyed how she would bring up common thoughts and talking points such as "Why can't I say the N-word if black people can say it?", and then walk thro
Susannah Savage
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some hot takes: first of all, if the survival of your political party is predicated on systemic disenfranchisement of (mostly) non-white voters, maybe your political party...shouldn’t exist? Or should like, change it’s policies so that more it?

Second of all, I generally knew that the NAACP Legal Defense Fund did important work, but good lord—I should set up a recurring donation. The number of lawsuits they have had to file against bullshit voting laws is astounding.

Also if you’re
This book was so concise and informative, I think everyone in America should read this, especially those concerned about the current state of politics in this country. Key takeaways: we need the VRA replaced, we need policies to combat disenfranchisement, and we need boots on the ground to make that happen from every level of government, to helping our neighbors get the documents they need, to getting to the polls in areas that are curtailing access.
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Carol Anderson is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Professor Anderson’s research and teaching focus on public policy; particularly the ways that domestic and international policies intersect through the issues of race, justice and equality in the United States.

Articles featuring this book

There are many ways to take action against racism. Reading in order to learn more about oppression and how to oppose it is just one of those...
1487 likes · 242 comments
“They target the socioeconomic characteristics of a people (poverty, lack of mobility, illiteracy, etc.) and then soak the new laws in “racially neutral justifications—such as administrative efficiency” or “fiscal responsibility”—to cover the discriminatory intent.” 0 likes
“The goal of all the GOP voter ID laws is to reduce significantly the demographic and political impact of a growing share of the American electorate. To diminish the ability of black, Latinos, and Asians, as well as the poor and students to choose government representatives and the types of policies they support. Unfortunately, it's working.” 0 likes
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