Black against Empire The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party - Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin
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Black against Empire The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party - Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin

Written by Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin
Edition: 2013
Format(s): EPUB
Language: English

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (January 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0520271858
ISBN-13: 978-0520271852

From Bookforum
“An account that should be called, above everything else, ‘definitive.’ . . . The book’s honest attempt to understand the intricacies of the movement is underscored by its commitment to nonpartisanship: While Bloom and Martin take great care not to vilify the Panthers as armed thugs, neither do they romanticize them simply as a misunderstood civil rights group. The result is a downright scientific analysis of a subject that leaves most readers understandably unable to stay neutral.”—Cord Jefferson
Review
"A comprehensive history."--New Yorker

"There have been at least a half dozen books and films by former Panthers, or about them, over the last decade. Black Against Empire, however, is unique among them in the scope and depth of its scholarship."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Vivid renderings of scene make this scholarly tome thoroughly accessible; a "you are there" tone adds immediacy to the ideological concerns underpinning Black Panther Party history. . . . [the authors] make comprehensible both the movement and the times." STARRED REVIEW--Publishers Weekly

"A comprehensive and compelling history of the Black Panther Party . . . it is the book I would recommend to anyone wanting to read just one book about the Black Panthers."--Counterpunch

"Twelve years of archival research helped the authors produce this first comprehensive book on the Black Panther Party, its members, its leaders, and its resistance to the politics of the American government."--Los Angeles Magazine

"Lets you understand what happened--and why."--American History

"Immediately assumes a central and critical spot within the Panther canon. More than a decade in the making, this is no romantic valentine to a bygone day.... This meticulous work of research and analysis attempts something beyond the scope of power-to-the-people flashbacks of Afros, dashikis and raised fists: it takes the Black Panther Party seriously as a political entity.... As authoritative, respectful and complete a record of the Black Panther Party's workings as we are likely to get."--Pop Matters

"Black against Empire breaks new scholarly ground in providing the first comprehensive history of the Black Panther Party. . . . [it] represents a significant contribution in restoring the integrity of Black Panther Party activists who fought for social justice, and shows how the history of racism in America sparked mental anguish and torment among black peoples, who resisted in the best ways they knew how."--History News Network

"Black Against Empire may well become the definitive document of one of the most important American social movements of the 20th century."--Smooth Magazine

"Finally! A book that clarifies the history of our movement, our aspirations, our struggles, and the bitter challenges we faced. This is a profoundly important and revealing work. Everyone who lived through these events, anyone who wants to understand the Black Panther Party, and especially the younger generations striving to shape the future, must read this book!"--Bobby Seale, Chairman, Black Panther Party

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