Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide (Hardcover)
Barack Obama's speech on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches should have represented the culmination of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of racial unity. Yet, in Fracture, MSNBC national correspondent Joy-Ann Reid shows that, despite the progress we have made, we are still a nation divided—as seen recently in headline-making tragedies such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore.
With President Obama's election, Americans expected an open dialogue about race but instead discovered the irony of an African American president who seemed hamstrung when addressing racial matters, leaving many of his supporters disillusioned and his political enemies sharpening their knives. To understand why that is so, Reid examines the complicated relationship between Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, and how their varied approaches to the race issue parallel the challenges facing the Democratic party itself: the disparate parts of its base and the whirl of shifting allegiances among its power players—and how this shapes the party and its hopes of retaining the White House.
Fracture traces the party's makeup and character regarding race from the civil rights days to the Obama presidency. Filled with key political players such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton, it provides historical context while addressing questions arising as we head into the next national election: Will Hillary Clinton's campaign represent an embrace of Obama's legacy or a repudiation of it? How is Hillary Clinton's stand on race both similar to and different from Obama's, or from her husband's? How do minorities view Mrs. Clinton, and will they line up in huge numbers to support her—and what will happen if they don't?
Veteran reporter Joy-Ann Reid investigates these questions and more, offering breaking news, fresh insight, and experienced insider analysis, mixed with fascinating behind-the-scenes drama, to illuminate three of the most important figures in modern political history, and how race can affect the crucial 2016 election and the future of America itself.
Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst for MSNBC and the host of The ReidOut. She is the author of Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide and co-editor (with E. J. Dionne Jr.) of We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama. A graduate of Harvard University, she is the former managing editor of TheGrio.com, and her columns and articles have appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, the Guardian, the Miami Herald, and Salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Maryland.
“Provocative and well-argued.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Illuminating and accessible. ... Reid pulls no punches... and presents a balanced view of [Obama] and his administration.” — Publishers Weekly
“Fascinating. ... A Compelling examination of racial issues in national politics.” — Shelf Awareness
“Every page... is alive with historical heft and context.” — South Florida Times
“Joy-Ann Reid exposes race as the San Andreas Fault of American politics. She exposes the white-black friction that’s propelled so much of our country’s debate, from Lincoln-Douglas to Obama-Clinton. Reid’s candid and tough chronicle nails it.” — Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews
“An instant classic of political journalism by one of the nation’s most gifted public intellectuals. Joy-Ann Reid offers a searing analysis of the Clintons and Obama in a brilliant work that is at once epic historical saga, gripping social thriller, astute frontline reportage, and edifying political tract.” — Michael Eric Dyson, author of the forthcoming The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America
“A profoundly necessary text. ... Takes on the ambitious task of connecting the contemporary Democratic Party to fifty years of fascinating and fast-paced historical change. ... If you plan to vote in 2016, you need to read Fracture.” — Melissa Harris-Perry, Presidential Endowed Chair in Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University and MSNBC host
“Joy Reid has written a book that we should all read. She lays out politics in a clear and concise fashion, and we can all learn from her honesty and conviction to get the politics of America right.” — Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and the Founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School
“Reid brilliantly mines well-known post-civil rights movement political ‘moments’ to illuminate the slow-shifting and all-too-often slyly static role of race in shaping the political landscape. ... And in the telling, she suggests we may yet choose to heal our fractured country.” — Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund