The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together
"This is the book I've been waiting for."--Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antira ...more
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McGee takes us back even before the founding of the country to explain how and why this theory came to be. She walks us through history giving us example after example of whites screwing themselves over rather than h ...more
’The white citizens burned the edifice of their own government rather than submit to a multiracial democracy.'
The above quote references an election in 1872, but is, perhaps, more relevant today.
I began reading this on January 8th, two days after the attack on the Capitol, made for difficulty concentrating. I am pretty sure it took me as long to read this as it did to read Lonesome Dove, despite it being less than 450 pages - the essays comprise 61% of the book, the remainder including Acknowle ...more
Heather McGhee, political commentator and former President of Demos (a progressive think tank) has written a book with a deceptively simple premise: Racism costs everyone. The harm that racism does society, while disproportionately affecting people of color, also harms working- and middle-class white people. Sadly, too many white Americans have fallen for the lie propagated by wealthy white elit ...more
Heather McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising st ...more
McGhee argues that when racist whites are opposed to public services, it's not because they want smaller government. It's because of their racism. They don't want blacks to benefit.
McGhee concludes that the strength of the ...more
The author proceeds to prove her case with stats and many stories. I was familiar with much of the material already from other books.
The book linked below, which came out two years ago, has the same thesis, but is 100 pages shorter. It might be better to start with this one.
This is a truly genius book in so many ways, from how McGhee makes the political personal to how she chooses to categorize intertwining issues. But the ...more
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee is required reading for anyone building an anti-racism reading list. McGhee, not only points out the problems and their roots, she gives us examples of people working to improve the nation towards its goal of freedom and equality for all. Highly Recommended.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are mine and mine alone.
Review: The Sum of Us
When Demos announced that McGhee would be moving on from her role as a day-to-day executive at the organization to move into a space more aligned with her ...more
The text however is hindered by a lack of cohesion in its analysis and some glaring omissions. While austerity is critiqued, the text blames th ...more
But I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Conservative Texas politicians immediately went on the offensive. Former Governor and energy secretary Rick Perry said ...more
When we say that racism is systemic, this book puts any second thoughts to rest. As a white woman, I have found myself questioning the rea ...more
OMG this book is so good and so important. They way she consolidates and elevates so much history and recent research into a concept that feels undeniable is rema ...more
I've always wondered why people vote against their self interests. You hear this every election year to the point it's become a cliché. After a while you realize the media is just dancing around what they don't want to say. Thankfully, Heather McGhee doesn't have a corporation to protect and points to racial injustice as the center of it all. McGhee traces this idea from slavery to Jim Crow to Covid in ten chapters that will have you screaming mad ...more
The book is out today and I thank Net Galley for early access and the chance to read and review. I jumped at the chance to read early both because (1) I am interested in racial injustice and policy avenues to a more equitable future and (2) every time Heather McGhee appears on televi ...more
I knew racism had a cost; a cost of lives, a cost of friendships, a cost of democracy. But other than slavery, I never thought about the economic cost in present day and why we can't have nice things.
I learned so much from Heather McGhee. I'm grateful to own the book so I could highlight the heck out of it. A quote I believe summarizes the book so well:
"I sensed that the core idea that's so resonant with many white Americans ...more
Heather McGhee uses her experience as an expert in economy and law in this deep and personal research journey into the foundations and continuation of the raci ...more
It took me a bit to get through it, because it was so descriptive, well-researched, and, frankly, depressing. Heather McGhee covers topics like housing, segregation, labor unions, schools, and healthcare to show how white people have bought into a zero-sum mindset (the idea that if you get more than you used to get, it means I must be getting less) and have actually hurt THEMSELVES thinking this way. (Of course this mindset hurts black and brown people most.)
Some ta ...more
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