The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

This well-researched history of modern mass incarceration in the United States has become a classic in the racial justice literature. The author's background as a legal scholar contributes to the delivery of a profound and often disturbing account of the U.S. criminal justice system's role in damaging our country's communities of color. For those who want to become more informed about the complexity of race issues in America, this book provides an invaluable account of the challenges before us.

336 pages. ©2012.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted July 20, 2021


Anyone who is on the fence about whether there is institutional racism in the prison system MUST read this book! It is eye-opening, to say the least. This book will help to understand the struggle that people of color face in the US prison system. It is equal parts heartbreaking and motivating.


Review posted June 10, 2021


This book was so eye-opening to me. I'm sad to say I knew very little about the impact that mass incarceration has on individuals and communities, especially after the physical imprisonment has ended. My understanding of where we're at as a society and the direction we need to head has expanded so much because of this book. Eternally grateful.


Review posted May 3, 2021


Outstanding clarity and depth on a topic that we logically must address as we engage in social and racial justice. This is a timely and well discussed topic.


Review posted April 28, 2021


This is such an important book, and one that I think everyone should read. There is so much here to unpack, demonstrating the way that the war on drugs and mass incarceration are systematically racist and extend the systems of Jim Crow and segregation.


Review posted April 28, 2021


This was not an easy read, both because of the content and because it was a bit wordy and academic. But so eye-opening and important.


Review posted April 17, 2021


The New Jim Crow is a necessary read. I appreciate the in-depth analysis of how the mass incarceration system has been used to continue control over black bodies. It's definitely a book I will need to reread to continue absorbing the information.


Review posted April 16, 2021


This book is an honest look into our flawed justice system. It is essential reading so that we can look into dismantling it and moving forward so that all can heal. Mass incarceration is a HUGE problem in the United States, and this book tells why it needs to end now.


Review posted April 8, 2021


This book was very informative and thought provoking, I personally learned a lot. Many of the things talked about in this book I did not realize. I would recommend this book.


Review posted March 26, 2021


I highly recommend this book. While the content is heavy, the book is easy to read. Alexander argues that mass incarnation is the new Jim Crow. People of color, especially Black men, are disproportionately penalized by our legal and police systems, even though rates of crime and drug use are the same for people of all races. Which makes us question, why is the US legal system the way it is? This makes a great book club book. I found myself connecting the book to current events and bringing it up in daily conversations.


Review posted March 6, 2021


A must read for anyone interested in the social justice movement. Michelle Alexander takes an academic approach referencing court cases and specific examples to shed light on the dark history of mass incarceration in the US. This book will educate readers on one of the largest problems we face as a society and the repercussions it has for some of the most vulnerable communities. Truly a must-read, even the most educated on our criminal justice system can gain a new perspective when faced with the facts presented in this book.


Review posted March 1, 2021


This book was very thoroughly researched and very effective in presenting timely information about the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and Black communities in the U.S. It was very dense (it read more like a textbook, in my opinion) but the information it presented was necessary and compelling.


Review posted December 23, 2020


"The New Jim Crow" is such an important book for everyone to read. This 10th anniversary edition has an excellent introduction as well. I read this with my husband,and we both learned a lot and had some meaningful discussions. It is well-researched and well-written. Thank you for offering this book!


Review posted November 4, 2020


This book was eye opening. I feel this is a book everyone should read. This is a book that I will revisit in the future.


Review posted October 8, 2020


In the climate of today, this is a must read.


Review posted October 1, 2020


Eye opening look at oppression in the US.


Review posted September 17, 2020


This book was recommended to me by an anti-racism educator that I follow on Instagram. I found it well written and informative. A must read for anyone interested in social justice and anti-racist work.