Give Us the Ballot

  • by Ari Berman
  • Narrated by Tom Zingarelli
  • 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The adoption of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965 enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. Yet fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power - over the right to vote, the central pillar of our democracy.
A groundbreaking narrative history of voting rights since 1965, Give Us the Ballot tells the story of what happened after the act was passed. Through meticulous archival research, fresh interviews with the leading participants in the ongoing struggle, and incisive on-the-ground reporting, Ari Berman chronicles the transformative impact the act had on American democracy and investigates how the fight over the right to vote has continued in the decades since. From new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth to cynical efforts to limit political representation by gerrymandering electoral districts to the Supreme Court's recent stunning decision that declared a key part of the Voting Rights Act itself unconstitutional, Berman tells the dramatic story of the pitched contest over the very heart of our democracy. At this important historical moment, Give Us the Ballot brings new insight to one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.

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What the Critics Say

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right." (Kirkus, starred review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

In-Depth Blow by Blow Account of the VRA

This is definitely a worthwhile listen that covers Enfranchisement to Disenfranchisement to Enfranchisement again (to current possible Disenfranchisement). It starts with LBJ and the Voters Rights Act's beginning and lists every single struggle and slap in the face Blacks, the poor, the invisible have faced along the way to now.
There are heroes and most certainly villains, boos and cheers, and it's absolutely extraordinary that here, in what we'd like to believe is the World's Greatest Democracy, gross handling and mishandling of the law exists. We're supposed to be better than what this history chronicles. But obviously, we're not.
While most certainly a good book, "Give Us the Ballot" could've used some editing. I mean, truly, this is a book dedicated to the details of the horrific. At just over 12 hours, you get EVERYthing.
Still, it's an eye-opener, and it'll make you more motivated to be engaged in conversations being had by those in power. Because what they've done, whether it be gerrymandering to blatant voter suppression laws, makes you think of Big Brother states.
Wait a second. "They've"? Perhaps more like, "We've". After all, we've let them get away with it for a long, long time...
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- Gillian

Must read for all Adults

I became a voter when I was 26. Not because I was not registered but because I never realized how important it was. After this book I now know how important it truly is to vote in every election. 20 years have gone by since my first vote. I never realized how much I took for granted such a simple gesture. How many worked so hard for that right and how it is slowly being taken away for so many. I plan on sharing this book with all my friends. No longer about an identification but limiting who they want to vote.
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- Vincent.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-04-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio