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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.
©2015 Ari Berman (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"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
4 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 10-25-16

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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17 of 21 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By RC on 10-30-16

informative but hard to follow

I wanted so much to enjoy this book because the topic is very near and dear to me. With the current state of our nation, many rights of minorities and persons of color are being challenged daily, so it is important to understand the foundation of the voting rights act and all the history behind it. That said, this book is probably better read than listened to. There are too many historical dates, people, and places crammed into it and way too fast-paced to follow it well. Furthermore, it seems to skip around without following a past to present time line which may have worked better. The narration isn't bad, just moves way to fast and skips around. Sadly, this is the first audio book I wasn't able to finish.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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