Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: A Colony in a Nation by Christopher L. Hayes

Blurb from Goodreads:
America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a post-racial world, but nearly every empirical measure—wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation—reveals that racial inequality hasn’t improved since 1968. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller Twilight of the Elites (“a stunning polemic,” said Ta-Nehisi Coates), award-winning journalist Chris Hayes offers a powerful new framework in which to understand our current crisis.

Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order; fear trumps civil rights; and aggressive policing resembles occupation. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?

Blending wide-ranging historical research with political, social, and economic analysis, A Colony in a Nation explains how a Nation founded on justice constructed the Colony—and how it threatens our democracy.
My Review:
This was a fast but explosive read.  I will tell you right now that I am not one to read nonfiction but I watch Chris Hayes' show every day and I was curious about this one.  I'm so glad I read it - it was such a fast and compelling read! It has a simple premise that is that the United States has evolved (in my opinion, wrongfully) into the two different worlds - one a colony and one a nation.  The colony is policed by the nation and in which order drives everything.  My favorite part about this was the discussion of the history of our country such that its formation was based upon protesters and those that didn't want to comply with the governance - it gives me strength and hope for what is going on now and reminds us all to #RESIST.  I definitely recommend this to anyone concerned about policing in our country and the inherent inequality of the same.

A Colony in a Nation comes out later this month on March 21, 2017, and you can purchase HERE. This is my first must-read of 2017!  You can watch Chris Hayes on MSNBC, nightly, at 8 pm EST.
Through our shared cultural inheritance, Americans convert white fear into policy. When the system receives a shock--a crime wave, a terrorist attack--and we must answer the question What is to be done, our collective response is punishment, toughness, and violence. We build a bureaucracy and vocabulary of toughness that then take on their own power, their own gravity and inertia. We then bequeath the institutions of toughness to the next generation of politicians and policy makers, even after the initial problem they were meant to solve has dissipated.


  1. Thanks for putting this on my radar. Sounds really interesting and like it is an important read right now. Great review!!

  2. This is the second time I've seen this mentioned in the last couple weeks. It sounds fascinating - and certainly timely. Great review, Eva.

  3. This does sound interesting for sure! Glad you enjoyed it. :D

  4. I do love nonfiction but I'm not sure this would be my kind of read. But on the other hand, you never know... Great review! :)

  5. I am definitely wanting to pick this one up, especially since most could relate with it with everything going on currently.


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