White Rage

  • by Carol Anderson
  • Narrated by Pamela Gibson
  • 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as 'black rage', historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, 'white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,' she wrote, 'everyone had ignored the kindling.'
Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House.
Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage.
Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.


What the Critics Say

"Narrator Pamela Gibson perfectly conveys the insightful research and writing in this book about civil rights in the U.S. by an Emory University historian. Anderson contends that when African-Americans make even the slightest progress, a subtle, almost invisible, white rage in the form of opposition reverses what little progress has been made. An example is the current suppression of black votes under the guise of voter fraud prevention. Gibson's delivery registers rage and compassion where appropriate. No one - from Lincoln to Trump - escapes criticism. Hard truths and supporting citations are clearly stated, leaving no confusion for listeners. Also, Gibson ably presents Anderson's unexpected humor, for example, when she talks about the current paralysis of the U.S. Senate." (AudioFile magazine)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Over sensitive white people

What made the experience of listening to White Rage the most enjoyable?

I only bought this book because of the review of David Larson above. His crying and moaning, because "but but...what about all the good white people, huh? you must hate white people" nonsense convinced me that this would be a good book. As a white person who actually wants to look at the real story of racist oppression and doesn't need to be coddled with all kinds of little "but there was good people too" pats on the back or congratulations for being so amazing that you care these issues at all, I was looking for a book that didn't pull punches to spare white feelings. Of Course Larson prefers black authors who write in the time when black people could get lynched for not couching their arguments in coddling language for sensitive whites, so his fee fees were upset by a black women speaking straight truth.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is a nonfiction book, so there are no characters. You should not offer this option on nonfiction books, audible.

What about Pamela Gibson’s performance did you like?

The typical things. This is a stupid category for review. She read with the right tone and temperment for the subject, the only reasons a performance is good or bad on an audio book.

If you could give White Rage a new subtitle, what would it be?

Shut Up sensitive white folks and take your medicine. It's long past time you sit down and just listen to what was and is being done to black folks and stop whining about how you're not being treated as nicely as you prefer.

Any additional comments?

Audible, put a tiny amount of effort into your review section. It really would take an average coder one day, maybe two to fix this.

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- John Gathly

I Wanted To Like This

Like many white people, I've been trying to better understand the ongoing racial divide in America. With that as a goal, I've been reading every book I can find on the topic. There have been some great ones ("The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin, "Between The World And Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois are all excellent). And then we have Dr. Anderson's book "White Rage."

I really wanted to like this book, but it was painful to read because the author does a poor job of hiding her contempt for white people. I mean this author REALLY does not like white people at all. Given that the author is a scholar of African American history, I can understand some of this anger (Spoiler Alert: white people have done a lot of bad stuff to black people throughout history). However, this book is supposed to be an objective academic look at race, not a diatribe against whites.

Chapter after chapter of Dr. Anderson's book details the cruel and horrible things that white people have done to innocent black people (and I agree the history is terrible). But to hear Dr. Anderson tell it, any advancements that black people have made over the years has been entirely on their own with little or no help from white people. Dr. Anderson even gives short shrift to Abraham Lincoln, writing that he "lacks humanity." In other words, Dr. Anderson has a very black and white view of history.

To accept Dr. Anderson's characterization of history is to believe that the NAACP and almost all black institutions of higher learning were built entirely by black people with little or no funding or support from white people. I find this silly falsehood to be extremely divisive. Can't we just admit that some white people are good and some black people are bad simply because all of us are people? Black people in America certainly have it much worse than white people, but blaming all black problems on white people is a little bit much. Surely white people have done something good at some point. Can't we say that white people are at least 10% good? Can't we say that black people are at least 10% responsible for their life choices? Until both sides can admit some basic truths about each other, we're not going to make much progress.

I gave this book one star because chapter 6 is very good. In chapter 6, Dr. Anderson talks about Republicans using the phony issue of "voter fraud" to reboot Jim Crow and subvert our democracy. Jim Crow 2.0 is definitely a serious problem and deserves its own book, but hopefully it will be written by an author who doesn't hate white people so much. As a white man myself, it's true that I can never fully understand the hate that black people feel towards white people. But as a fighter for social justice, I know that alienating those white people who are trying to make things better is not a very good strategy.
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- David Larson "Dave"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-26-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury