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  • Title : Give Us the Ballot

  • Author:

  • Ranting:

  • ISBN: 0374158274

  • Number of Pages: 384 pages


Give Us the Ballot Description

In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement And yet, fifty years later, we are In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to the present day The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement And yet, fifty years later, we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and with the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in depth interviews with major figures in the debate, and incisive on the ground reporting In vivid prose, he takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights era to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court At this important moment in history, Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, NonfictionA New York Times Notable Book of 2015A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2015An NPR Best Book of 2015Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act VRA in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time Get A CopyKindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleKoboApple iBooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoHalf.comAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 384 pages Published August 4th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux More Details Original Title Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America ISBN 0374158274 ISBN13 9780374158279 Edition Language English Literary Awards National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for General Nonfiction 2015 Other Editions 5 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Give Us the Ballot, please sign up

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Lists with This Book The Stop Trump Reading List 57 books 20 voters The Post Trump Big Questions Canon 340 books 125 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews showing 1 30 filter sort default Rating Details 0 copy ratingGraph.clone j rating_details_tip_graph.remove copy.attr id , rating_details_tip_graph copy.find script.remove j rating_details_tip.prepend copy Aug 06, 2015 Sloan rated it it was amazing An excellent description of the history of the Voting Rights Act and the profound threats facing the rights for all eligible citizens to vote While it can be a depressing read, especially if the reader lived through the civil and voting rights battles of the 1960s, this is a book that demands reading as the movement to restrict voting rights continues to gain momentum I recommend it highly flag 8 likesLike see review Apr 14, 2017 Caroline rated it it was amazing Shelves nonfiction, history If you weren t already in complete despair after reading Dark Money, this should finish the job Detailed history of Republican actions since the early nineties to restrict voting rights, and the conservative Supreme Court s support for those changes.The first half of the book is encouraging, as it details the creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 John Lewis is a central and continuing character This is one area where LBJ shines, despite first saying the VRA wasn t in the cards right now If you weren t already in complete despair after reading Dark Money, this should finish the job Detailed history of Republican actions since the early nineties to restrict voting rights, and the conservative Supreme Court s support for those changes.The first half of the book is encouraging, as it details the creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 John Lewis is a central and continuing character This is one area where LBJ shines, despite first saying the VRA wasn t in the cards right now The televised beatings from Selma changed national opinion over night The key was requiring states with a history of discriminatory voter registration to submit changes that affected voting to the Department of Justice for review The courts later confirmed that it was within the scope of the VRA to extend such review to changes that affected representation, such as carving up black neighborhoods to put sections of them into majority white districts.The last part of the book highlights cagy recent restrictions in voting rights, such as stringent voter id rules, limiting the number of voting machines in minority precincts, purging voter roles using bad data, etc etc etc With the VRA gutted by Supreme Court rulings, people have no recourse LBJ s prediction, cited here, that the VRA would give the south to the Republican party for a generation had too short a horizon.Berman does a wonderful job of detailing the arc of voting rights, with lots of real life instances of the consequences Recommended flag 7 likesLike see review Oct 29, 2016 Kayle Barnes rated it it was amazing Should be mandatory reading for everyone in advance of voting this election cycle Key takeaway TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EARLY VOTING flag 6 likesLike see review Apr 08, 2016 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction, politics, history, black studies, civil rights Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, realizing that true democracy was both unrealistic and unworkable, chose as the model of our government a republic, whereby power resides in elected representatives given authority by the citizenry that elected them Under this model of government, the most vital and important tool is the Vote.History is awash in the blood of patriots who have fought and died for the Vote, and yet, today, sixteen years into the 21st century, forces are continually at work t Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, realizing that true democracy was both unrealistic and unworkable, chose as the model of our government a republic, whereby power resides in elected representatives given authority by the citizenry that elected them Under this model of government, the most vital and important tool is the Vote.History is awash in the blood of patriots who have fought and died for the Vote, and yet, today, sixteen years into the 21st century, forces are continually at work to destroy the Vote The saddest and most disturbing aspect of this campaign to steal citizens one and only democratic tool is that it is being done under the guise of a patriotic adherence to rigid interpretations of the U.S Constitution.Ari Berman, an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Nation, has published the definitive history of the Vote in this country, emphasizing its importance to a healthy democratic process and determining the forces at work to destroy it, in his book, Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America Berman s book begins on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, which was the site of a famous civil rights march, led by the Rev Martin Luther King, Jr in 1965 Violent armed police officers attacked nonviolent demonstrators trying to cross the bridge The nation was enraged by the sight of cruelty and viciousness of racist white Alabamans beating up unarmed peaceful black people who simply wanted to be able to vote in elections As a result, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965 Considered to be the most important and effective pieces of civil rights legislation ever enacted, the VRA essentially put an end to the blatant discriminatory effects of Jim Crow, which included literacy tests, poll taxes, and many other unconstitutional and immoral attempts by white supremacists to keep minorities from their right to Vote, as decreed by the Fifteenth Amendment Improvements were noticed almost immediately after the signing The numbers of black registered voters began to climb higher and higher every election year The fight, however, continued to rage on Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in western states were running into similar problems that black people faced before 1965 Amendments were added to the VRA in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, including requiring some jurisdictions to have bilingual elections and significant voting law changes under Section 5 of the VRA What was originally designed to help African Americans now offered protection to Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans.The VRA finally opened the door to the Vote to literally hundreds of thousands of Americans who were previously locked out It also helped to initiate the careers of many minorities looking to find jobs within the government.Unfortunately, detractors of the VRA continually tried to find ways to either circumvent the law or abolish it altogether As Jesse Jackson once said in 1981, in some back water counties throughout the country, the VRA has been an Indian treaty Everybody signed it, but nobody follows it p 153 Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of anti VRA politicians are conservatives and Republicans While racism has been, and always will be, nonpartisan, it s simply a statistical fact that the most virulent VRA opponents and those who have worked the hardest to weaken the law have been Republicans.Interestingly enough, Republicans justify their anti VRA stance based on what they consider a pro civil rights approach, claiming that in the decades since its inception, the VRA has successfully managed to wipe out almost all vestiges of racism in the electoral arena, therefore the law has outlived its usefulness Further, they claim, extending the law any further is, in itself, racist because it continues to fight racist state policies where no racism actually exists Many, if not all, conservatives against the VRA use the fear of potential quotas or proportional representation to defend their stance Armand Derfner, of the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee LCDC , calls this reasoning a scare tactic It was a fear that was not justified In a lot of cases we were talking about, there were no blacks elected We were trying to get from none to some p 155 One of the vocal VRA detractors, Abigail Thernstrom, said, Voting rights has become another immensely complex affirmative action issue, distinctive only in not being acknowledged as such p 181 Likening VRA to affirmative action, Republican politicians used this post racial color blind excuse to reduce the numbers of voters voting by targeting minorities, senior citizens, and poor people because, statistically, those groups tend to overwhelmingly vote Democratic.Sadly, in 2015, the anti VRA camp scored a major win when the U.S Supreme Court overturned Section 5 of the VRA, which compelled states historically the Southern ones that have had the worst track record in voting rights violations to have voting changes approved by the federal government The justices who supported the overturning of Section 5 claimed that, while at one point it was useful, it was now an egregious example of federal overreach.The late Justice Antonin Scalia may he rot in peace said that support for the VRA was based on nothing than a phenomena that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement , certainly not winning any friends that day, except, perhaps, from fellow white supremacists.One would think, based on the logic of the VRA opponents, that Section 5 violations would have noticeably decreased since 1965 In truth, the number of Section 5 violations have actually increased, as many states to be fair, not just the southern ones continue to make voting changes that would reduce citizen access to the voting booths Since 1982, the Department of Justice has, under Section 5, fought numerous discriminatory voting changes, including 91 in Georgia, 105 in Texas, 112 in Mississippi, 96 in Louisiana, 73 in South Carolina, 46 in Alabama, and 45 in North Carolina p 242 And detractors think the law has outlived its usefulness how It s almost inexplicable, until one begins to realize that the targeting of poor minorities and people with limited access is actually a boon for Republicans In some cases, it s not even people who are poor or with limited access It s just blatant attempts to make it harder for anybody to vote Citing cases of voting fraud that don t actually exist, many conservative politicians have enacted strict voting laws in the name of protecting the sanctity of voting.David Iglesias, a U.S attorney for New Mexico, says that voter fraud is like boogeyman parents use to scare their children It s frightening, and it doesn t exist U.S attorneys have better things to do with their time than chasing voter fraud phantoms p 231 It has always irked me when I talk to someone who admits, even brags, that they never vote, claiming that his or her vote doesn t matter or won t make a difference That kind of thinking is dangerous.Now, when people say that to me, I can tell them that that kind of thinking is a slap in the face for all the countless people who have literally fought and died and are continuing to do so so that they could possess a right that they selfishly refuse to use flag 8 likesLike see review View 2 comments Apr 11, 2017 Mlg rated it really liked it Shelves non fiction book club Very well researched book on the recent history of voter suppression It begins with the passage of the Voter Rights Act in 1965 and continues up until the Obama administration.Many of the stories of voter suppression of blacks in the South are disgusting Remedies were proposed and often were supported by both parties Somewhere along the line, Republicans realized that with changing demographics, they couldn t win elections without cheating Assaults on the VRA followed, along with gerrymander Very well researched book on the recent history of voter suppression It begins with the passage of the Voter Rights Act in 1965 and continues up until the Obama administration.Many of the stories of voter suppression of blacks in the South are disgusting Remedies were proposed and often were supported by both parties Somewhere along the line, Republicans realized that with changing demographics, they couldn t win elections without cheating Assaults on the VRA followed, along with gerrymandering, removal of voting machines from heavily Democratic or minority areas, ridiculous voter Id laws that tried to keep seniors or college students from voting Purges of names from the voter rolls have kept thousands of legal voters from voting and may have affected the outcome of two different presidential elections Two figures emerge as major players John Lewis has been one of true heroes of voters rights, and John Roberts is one of the villains Roberts was an active foe of the VRA and lied about his own views in his confirmation hearing Once on the court, he led the court to its repeal Those who disenfranchise others so that they can win stolen elections are really the lowest form of life in our democracy flag 3 likesLike see review Jul 18, 2017 Sushmita rated it it was amazing So many highlights An exhaustive but not entirely exhausting review of voting rights in America Berman covers the struggles, the triumphs, and the utter frustration as successive administrations build momentum to curtail voting rights starting with the Reagan administration and ultimately striking down Section 5 of the VRA in 2013 Berman sprinkles some choice hyperbole throughout, like personal favorites Von Spakovsky s unusual name, which sounded like a nineteenth century Austrian vill So many highlights An exhaustive but not entirely exhausting review of voting rights in America Berman covers the struggles, the triumphs, and the utter frustration as successive administrations build momentum to curtail voting rights starting with the Reagan administration and ultimately striking down Section 5 of the VRA in 2013 Berman sprinkles some choice hyperbole throughout, like personal favorites Von Spakovsky s unusual name, which sounded like a nineteenth century Austrian villain s or Schlozman had a high pitched nasal voice and a frat boy persona Golden eggs aside, I was just short of rivetedthe only thing better being a politico musical starring our Austrian villain co duking it out with the notorious RBG Amiright flag 3 likesLike see review Sep 21, 2015 Jean Poulos rated it it was amazing Shelves non fiction, history, us history, audio book Berman says that the 1965 Voting Rights Amendment spawned an equally committed group of counterrevolutionaries Since the V.R.A s passage, they have waged a decades long campaign to restrict voting right Berman argues that these counterrevolutionaries have in recent years controlled a majority on the Supreme Court and have set their sights on undoing the accomplishment of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.Berman explores how the debate over voting rights for the past 50 years has been a debate b Berman says that the 1965 Voting Rights Amendment spawned an equally committed group of counterrevolutionaries Since the V.R.A s passage, they have waged a decades long campaign to restrict voting right Berman argues that these counterrevolutionaries have in recent years controlled a majority on the Supreme Court and have set their sights on undoing the accomplishment of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.Berman explores how the debate over voting rights for the past 50 years has been a debate between two competing visions Should the Voting Rights Act simply provide access to the ballot, as conservatives claim, or should it police a much broader scope of the election system, which includes encouraging greater representation for African American and other minority groups Every time the VRA comes up for renewal, from 1969 to 2006 the broader interpretation is endorsed by the Congress The Supreme Court repeatedly responded by imposing the narrower interpretation by judicial fiat Berman goes into great detail citing Supreme Court actions during this timeframe up to and including the Roberts Court to date.Berman shows how various Republican Presidents chose to do nothing that would affect their standing with black votes except for the gradual redistricting to create majority white or black districts.In 2013 the Supreme Court by a 5 4 vote struck down the formula Congress had adopted in 1965 and renewed for identifying jurisdictions subject to federal oversight Chief Justice Roberts held that it violated the Constitution In her blistering dissent Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Congress, not the Court, had the constitutional authority to define progress in Voting Rights.In 2014 fourteen States adopted voting restrictions The numbers of voters potentially affected by new barriers to the ballot box exceeded the margin of victory in close races for Senate and Governors in North Carolina, Kansas, Virginia and Florida.Berman provides a narrative history rather than constitutional analysis He just documents what has happened to the V.R.A and documented the shift from Congress to the Court of the V.R.A The book contains so much information that I just provided you with some brief highlights to help you decide to read the book This is a must read book for every voter in this country I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible Tom Zingarelli did a good job narrating the book flag 2 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jan 10, 2016 Brandon Abraham rated it it was amazing The Nation s Ari Berman narrates the story of the Voting Rights Act since its adoption under the height of Great Society legislation and in the wake of the Blood Sunday March to recent attempts by the Supreme Court to adopt a restrictive interpretation of the law s scope, effectively, the author argues, freeing the Tea Party controlled governments of the Old Confederacy from federal oversight and accelerating a pattern of restricting the right to vote not seen since the end of Reconstructio The Nation s Ari Berman narrates the story of the Voting Rights Act since its adoption under the height of Great Society legislation and in the wake of the Blood Sunday March to recent attempts by the Supreme Court to adopt a restrictive interpretation of the law s scope, effectively, the author argues, freeing the Tea Party controlled governments of the Old Confederacy from federal oversight and accelerating a pattern of restricting the right to vote not seen since the end of Reconstruction Berman makes figures as disparate as John Roberts, Lyndon Johnson, John Lewis, and Antonin Scalia come alive, and he successfully makes the argument that politically motivated assaults on voting rights, from the poll taxes and literacy tests of the 1950 s to the driver s license check of today, are a constant throughout American history and work to weaken the democratic process Highly recommended flag 2 likesLike see review Aug 16, 2015 Matt Austin rated it liked it Mr Berman s book started off as an entertaining read In the opening chapters, the reader was provided with a thorough history of voting rights, covering freedom summer, SNCC, and Selma Initially, I was hooked After 200 pages, my interest took a precipitous fall While the book was very engaging at the start, it became long winded and I lost interest Voting rights is a critical issue, and Mr Berman did a great job providing a historical context, but he lost me 3 4 the way through Ultimatel Mr Berman s book started off as an entertaining read In the opening chapters, the reader was provided with a thorough history of voting rights, covering freedom summer, SNCC, and Selma Initially, I was hooked After 200 pages, my interest took a precipitous fall While the book was very engaging at the start, it became long winded and I lost interest Voting rights is a critical issue, and Mr Berman did a great job providing a historical context, but he lost me 3 4 the way through Ultimately, this book is worth reading, but don t expect a page turner flag 2 likesLike see review Jan 07, 2017 Ian Rose rated it it was amazing review of another edition This is not an easy read, either in terms of length or content It s of a textbook than a thriller, but it s exactly the textbook I wanted on the modern history of the right to vote and of the sustained attack on that right If I could send one book right now to everyone I know with any political interest, this would be the one flag 2 likesLike see review Aug 08, 2017 David rated it it was amazing Voter suppression, in various forms, has been with us since the founding of our nation and it does not appear to be going away any time soon Americans have used poll taxes, literacy tests, shortened registration periods, intimidation, murder, limited polling stations in undesirable districts, and a variety of other means to make it harder for certain kinds of people to vote In short, we re very good at making certain disenfranchising practices legal, even though they conflict with the ideals Voter suppression, in various forms, has been with us since the founding of our nation and it does not appear to be going away any time soon Americans have used poll taxes, literacy tests, shortened registration periods, intimidation, murder, limited polling stations in undesirable districts, and a variety of other means to make it harder for certain kinds of people to vote In short, we re very good at making certain disenfranchising practices legal, even though they conflict with the ideals and principles of our founding documents The tension between state and federal oversight is particularly pronounced where voting is concerned The Voting Rights Act, which is younger than I am, has been a thorn in the side of certain Americans since its inception Conservatives recently succeeded in weakening one of the Act s key provisions in the Supreme Court s Shelby Count, AL ruling Certain states, uneasy with President Obama s success, have taken a variety of steps to make it harder to vote stricter ID requirements in reaction to non existent fraud limiting registration times to periods when lower income people are likely to be working and unable to get off work fewer polling stations in poor areas limiting early voting periods forcing people to go to the DMV to register when some states Texas don t have DMV s in every county The tactics are subtle, sinister, and un American, but it s hard to imagine them going away anytime soon as white conservatives gain representation at the local level and project it on the national level flag 1 likeLike see review Aug 03, 2017 Dawn rated it it was amazing The things you take for granted from a position of white privilege are legion Like, you think that the Voting Rights Act took care of all that nastiness No A very dedicated group of people have been working to undermine it since the moment it was passed And while most of us haven t been looking they ve been quite effective I often felt nauseous while reading this flag 1 likeLike see review Nov 10, 2016 Charlene rated it it was amazing Shelves non fiction inequality, history, economics, politics 6 stars IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE MINORITIES IN YOUR COUNTRY, THIS IS A MUST READHow did some humans go about stealing the vote from black people year after year, decade after decade, and century after century The answer is there are so many ways and many of those ways are occurring right now under our noses You owe it the minorities in your country to inform yourself about the various practices that are sneakily disguised as reasonable actions but are in reality horrific civil rights violations 6 stars IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE MINORITIES IN YOUR COUNTRY, THIS IS A MUST READHow did some humans go about stealing the vote from black people year after year, decade after decade, and century after century The answer is there are so many ways and many of those ways are occurring right now under our noses You owe it the minorities in your country to inform yourself about the various practices that are sneakily disguised as reasonable actions but are in reality horrific civil rights violations If you care about minorities in this country, and want to take any action to help make sure they are not railroaded, then read this book You can then at least be informed enough to fight against future policies, and with Trump and whoever he elects for the three Supreme Court Justice positions there will be so many, which will have the sole aim of stripping them from their right to vote There are so many examples and so many things to look out for that I cannot cover them all in one review But if we take just one example from this book, the requirement of IDs, we can see how this plays out Voter IDs seem, on the surface, to be a good idea Why not I need an ID for anything official Why not require one for voting After all, isn t there voter fraud As it turns out, there is no real voter fraud documented at the poles Voter fraud is largely, if not exclusively, a mail in issue Requiring IDs does not address this at all Instead, it only addresses a practice, in person voting, that has very little or no fraud associated with it Further , it turns out that black people are significantly less likely to own a car and, instead, take public transportation When black people try to get a non driver s license, they run into all sorts of problems listed in the book Many people born in the time of Jim Crow were never issued birth certificates Add to all of this the time and expense it takes to overcome these ID hurdles, and it results in greater barriers for black people than white people when it comes to casting a vote I also found the gerrymandering far shocking than I thought I would I was already aware of this practice, but the way that politicians went about moving boundary lines to take away the power of the black voter or to make it all together impossible to vote was simply horrific What a well researched and worthwhile book flag 1 likeLike see review Sep 22, 2015 Bookworm rated it it was ok Unfortunately tedious read on a subject people don t know about With the Voting Rights Act under fire and constant stories of electoral fraud voters, machine glitches, lines cut off, names incorrect on ballot sheets, etc , voting and the struggle to increase its accessibility has been a constant struggle This book was supposed to trace the the US from the VRA to modern times, looking at the civil rights movements, political developments, the struggles and Unfortunately, it s really har Unfortunately tedious read on a subject people don t know about With the Voting Rights Act under fire and constant stories of electoral fraud voters, machine glitches, lines cut off, names incorrect on ballot sheets, etc , voting and the struggle to increase its accessibility has been a constant struggle This book was supposed to trace the the US from the VRA to modern times, looking at the civil rights movements, political developments, the struggles and Unfortunately, it s really hard for me to get through Berman takes the reader though a history of the US through the struggle of voting from the VRA to the summer of 2014 He looks at it from presidents to activists to Congressman and It s informative, it s history that I did not know and wish I had learned at school But it was like wading through molasses The problem for me is that the author is journalist, and with many other books that are written by journalists it seems like the book is great in sections and in stops and starts, but sometimes it reads like a too long magazine newspaper article, which is the case here People will dislike the book because of the author s slant He s a reporter at The Nation but for me that really wasn t it I wanted to enjoy this, or at least find it readable It seems people liked it but I just couldn t get into it He tries to weave the story of Congressman John Lewis known for his work on civil rights into the book And while I understand that device, the book became a list of too many people, too many names, and while Lewis drops in and out as our anchor, I just felt Berman couldn t connect it together very well I normally don t have this much trouble reading non fiction books written by journalists, but for me I really wish journalists would work with stronger book editors if they decide to switch gears and write a book Recommend the library and hope you get out of it than I did flag 1 likeLike see review Feb 16, 2017 Taj rated it really liked it An excellent recitation of the history of the VRA flag 1 likeLike see review Feb 04, 2017 Jonathan Palmer rated it really liked it This thorough and painstakingly researched accounting of the struggle for black voting rights in the modern era makes a powerful case Not only is that struggle far from over its enemies have only become emboldened and creative in devising ways to push those rights back, from vote caging to photo ID laws and that old chestnut, gerrymandering Berman reports all of this with restrained objectivity, but the undeniable thesis that the right to vote is as unstable and under attack for many This thorough and painstakingly researched accounting of the struggle for black voting rights in the modern era makes a powerful case Not only is that struggle far from over its enemies have only become emboldened and creative in devising ways to push those rights back, from vote caging to photo ID laws and that old chestnut, gerrymandering Berman reports all of this with restrained objectivity, but the undeniable thesis that the right to vote is as unstable and under attack for many blacks as it ever has been suffuses the narrative with a propulsive outrage John Lewis emerges as the principle hero of this story His life s work has been the advancement and protection of the cause, from literally putting his body on the line on the Pettus Bridge to the recent childish taunts from the newly elected president He who shall not be named is not mentioned in these pages, but it s impossible to read this book in light of the recent election and not see it as a call to action in these troubled times We must work that much harder against the racist forces in our nation determined to restrict that most inalienable of American rights, the right to vote flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 05, 2017 Dan rated it it was amazing This book is an onslaught Berman, in meticulous detail, walks the reader through the history of the fight surrounding voting rights in modern times From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 up through the present day, he follows the ups and downs of the movement to secure the rights supposedly guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments I think this book will make you angry real angry But it might leave you with hope too And it certainly will give you story after story of This book is an onslaught Berman, in meticulous detail, walks the reader through the history of the fight surrounding voting rights in modern times From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 up through the present day, he follows the ups and downs of the movement to secure the rights supposedly guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments I think this book will make you angry real angry But it might leave you with hope too And it certainly will give you story after story of how conservatives from the Goldwater era to the Renquist Regan era through today s Roberts court have continually used specious politicking to justify removing measures that increase voter turnout and instituting those that suppress it how at every victory voting rights were eroded again first by blatant racism but then by post racial arguments of color blindness Did I mention this book will make you angry But the fight goes on and in his journalistic style, he gives the stories of those still inspired by Selma who remember the folks who died for their right to vote and aren t ready to see their own taken away so easily.I think everyone should read this book It is dense, but it reveals so much about what is going on within our political system today flag 1 likeLike see review Jun 08, 2016 victor harris rated it it was ok The big picture is that preserving voting rights for minorities is an ongoing battle This is important in light of recent Supreme Court tendencies and decisions that are geared to dismantle gains made thanks to previous judicial intervention Since the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there have been factions trying to disrupt its implementation while others have sought vigorous application of its provisions Berman certainly captures that part of the narrative well, unfortunately The big picture is that preserving voting rights for minorities is an ongoing battle This is important in light of recent Supreme Court tendencies and decisions that are geared to dismantle gains made thanks to previous judicial intervention Since the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there have been factions trying to disrupt its implementation while others have sought vigorous application of its provisions Berman certainly captures that part of the narrative well, unfortunately it loses momentum and gets bogged down in a morass of minutiae that makes for tedious reading Worth flipping through to keep an eye on what the ideologues are up to, but lacks vitality flag 1 likeLike see review Dec 10, 2016 Kristen rated it it was amazing Shelves non fiction, mercy and justice, history After the President Elect s comments about voter fraud, I can think of few issues important for all citizens to understand This book is essential reading for those concerned about voting rights flag 1 likeLike see review Feb 03, 2016 Janis rated it really liked it I wanted to read this book after hearing Ari Berman speak at the 2015 Texas Book Festival I was not disappointed the book was great but I was appalled We have clearly lost ground in the struggle for voting rights since 1965 A must read for this election year flag 1 likeLike see review View 2 comments Jul 30, 2016 Steve Horton rated it it was amazing A very sad part of our history that has morphed into political raison d etre for the Republican party flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 24, 2017 Bryan Craig added it This is an important history of the voting rights since the 1960s Great writing and should be required reading flag 1 likeLike see review Nov 30, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing Shelves nonfiction, agenda on the sleeve Well This was timely and depressing Voter suppression is foul and should be repudiated by both parties flag 1 likeLike see review May 29, 2017 Robert S rated it really liked it Shelves nonfiction, history, politics This act flows from a clear and simple wrong Its only purpose is to right that wrong Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color This law will ensure them the right to vote The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify The right is one which no American, true to our principles, can deny President Lyndon B Johnson, during the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have Congressman John Le This act flows from a clear and simple wrong Its only purpose is to right that wrong Millions of Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color This law will ensure them the right to vote The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify The right is one which no American, true to our principles, can deny President Lyndon B Johnson, during the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have Congressman John LewisThe Voting Rights Act of 1965 is one of the most important and essential pieces of civil rights legislation in the 20th and 21st century Its not enough to have legislation that protects people s rights but there has to be teeth behind any important piece of legislation to enforce it Many men and women suffered, even died for the right to vote to be available to all It is one of the most crucial elements of any democracy, and it is one that history has shown we need to be vigilant about protecting Give Us the Ballot is an important book about the history of the Voting Rights Act, its implementation, the votes to extend it in the halls of Congress, and the attacks it has faced in recent times.Definitely give this a read flag Like see review Jan 29, 2017 B rated it really liked it The importance of this book is 5 stars The readability of this book is 3 stars So 4 stars will do.This book does a wonderful job walking through the history of voting in America, starting from the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act through the 2014 midterm elections which were the first elections held after Chief Justice John Roberts SCOTUS struck down the teeth of the Voting Rights Act The disenfranchisement of minorities as well as traditionally liberal voting groups like college stu The importance of this book is 5 stars The readability of this book is 3 stars So 4 stars will do.This book does a wonderful job walking through the history of voting in America, starting from the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act through the 2014 midterm elections which were the first elections held after Chief Justice John Roberts SCOTUS struck down the teeth of the Voting Rights Act The disenfranchisement of minorities as well as traditionally liberal voting groups like college students is a complete paradox in today s political climate it is the one of the most dangerous threats to our democracy yet one of the least protested discussed issues among the establishment of the left AG Eric Holder was right when he called voter ID laws poll taxes and civil rights lawyers are correct when they argue that curtailing early voting, absentee ballots, provisional ballots, and out of precinct ballots disproportionately disenfranchise minorities All Americans should be yelling about this All Americans should be voting with this in mind All Americans should be voting period And we should be ashamed as a nation if we continue to make that harder, rather than easier, for our citizens flag Like see review Nov 12, 2016 Everydayreader1 rated it it was amazing review of another edition As a frequent reader of Ari Berman s reporting, I was anxious to read Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, and it did not disappoint It provides a detailed history of voting discrimination in America, especially as it related to voting rights, before and after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and subsequent reauthorizations.It is very easy to think that voting rights and other civil rights are no longer threatened in America because of civil rights As a frequent reader of Ari Berman s reporting, I was anxious to read Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, and it did not disappoint It provides a detailed history of voting discrimination in America, especially as it related to voting rights, before and after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and subsequent reauthorizations.It is very easy to think that voting rights and other civil rights are no longer threatened in America because of civil rights legislation and enforcement, but you will have a greater understanding of these ongoing threats after reading this most excellent historical work Though it is non fiction, it reads like a novel as it chronicles events of import with respect to voting and civil rights, and, in many cases, the lack there of This may go down in my reading history as one of the best and most informative books I have ever read flag Like see review Jan 03, 2017 AI rated it really liked it Give Us the Ballot is a history of voting rights in the US, and the attacks against those rights, since the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 It s an important but exhausting read, as the VRA has been under constant attack by the Republican Party since its passing, with the GOP adopting the Southern Strategy after its passing I can t imagine how it must feel to be some of the voting rights activists featured in this book, such as Congressman John Lewis, who have had to fight constantl Give Us the Ballot is a history of voting rights in the US, and the attacks against those rights, since the passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 It s an important but exhausting read, as the VRA has been under constant attack by the Republican Party since its passing, with the GOP adopting the Southern Strategy after its passing I can t imagine how it must feel to be some of the voting rights activists featured in this book, such as Congressman John Lewis, who have had to fight constantly just so that people can vote The book ends with the Shelby County SCOTUS decision, and the aftermath of that decision, which gutted the VRA Anyone who wants to have a better understanding about democracy in America should read this book flag Like see review Aug 02, 2017 Alexander Tas rated it it was amazing Shelves politics, history An incredible narrative telling of the Voting Rights Act and the people who have fought for it and those who would destroy it I don t know what else to say about it other than read it Especially with everything about voting rights in the news today, this can t be missed Berman has a captivating writing style that keeps the story focused It s mostly linear telling helps keep the reader on track and increases the significance of the fights against the VRA as the story unravels flag Like see review Feb 17, 2017 Clare Fitzgerald rated it really liked it One of the many, many drivers of the outcome in the past clusterfuck of an election was the under reported but extremely serious wave of voter suppression that GOP legislators have been enacting since the VRA was gutted in 2013 Ari Berman had been valiantly reporting on this issue at The Nation for most of the circus, so I knew that his book on the subject, Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America was going to be near the top of the list of books to read in the book One of the many, many drivers of the outcome in the past clusterfuck of an election was the under reported but extremely serious wave of voter suppression that GOP legislators have been enacting since the VRA was gutted in 2013 Ari Berman had been valiantly reporting on this issue at The Nation for most of the circus, so I knew that his book on the subject, Give Us the Ballot The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America was going to be near the top of the list of books to read in the book club Side note Anyone want to join my politics book club I m very much looking forward to discussing this one, as infuriating as it is, especially at the end.The book begins with the Selma march where John Lewis got his head beat in, and vividly illustrates all the drama surrounding the passage and implementation of the Voting Rights Act Sometimes it s hard to realize that it wasn t all that long ago there s such a Wild West y amount of shooting, firebombing, and random street beatings going on Then I remember that it was only 50 years ago, and also I m lucky to live in relatively safe areas that are not gun country, so probably even some of these places aren t as different now as I d have assumed.Despite all the shooting and firebombing and stuff, the earlier part of the book is still the cheerful one, because Act One ends with the Voting Rights Act being passed and implemented Act Two is basically Adventures in Vote Dilution, and Act Three, most depressingly, is the legal counterrevolution that led to the Act being gutted, starting with the sick fucks in the Reagan administration.The most depressing part of whole thing, oddly, was the unholy alliance between the Congressional Black Caucus and the GOP to draw majority minority heavily gerrymandered districts in order to ensure any kind of minority representation in Congress, even though it made districts less competitive and increased the number of GOP stronghold districts in the South by basically getting rid of all the moderate white Democrats This turns out to have been a bad move given the degree to which partisanship has increased as a force in American politics relative to literally anything else Also, gerrymandering is bad the competitive districts are, the better for democracy So that was a bummer it read like the fatal flaw that leads to the hero s downfall in a Greek tragedy Of course, the reality is much complicated than that, but it seems like a thread the consequences of pulling on were farther reaching than anticipated.The real problem, of course, is the cadre of neoconservative lawyers brought into the White House during the Reagan and both Bush administrations, neoconservative being the bullshit euphemism for authoritarian, burn it down if we can t control it reactionaries that we had before we came up with alt right to push the backwardness into straight up Nazism Among other things, they utterly weaponized the Supreme Court, turning it into the anti human clusterfuck it is today and that the Republicans are hellbent on keeping it There are many new names on my list of People Who Haven t Been Punched Enough after reading this book, although I probably won t remember the names.The book ends with a discussion of the Moral Monday marches and of North Carolina s descent from reasonable moderation into an unsterile petri dish of retrograde GOP democracy fucking experiments It s simultaneously heartening and depressing.Voting rights are the single most important issue in our democracy right now outside of not actually killing off the entire human race via nuclear incompetence or the drastic acceleration of global warming Voting rights are the only hope we have of taking ourselves off the road to fascism, and the power hungry sociopaths of the GOP know that and are going to do their best to destroy it.Let s not make it easy flag Like see review Jun 26, 2017 Jerusalem Demsas rated it really liked it Shelves delta This book was very good Probably like 4.5 stars The only impediment is that it misses the opportunity to truly grapple with the most reasonable of the arguments to strike down the VRA This book is also infuriating the level of malice and apathy towards one of the most fundamental rights is breathtaking I couldn t believe some of the actions taken by Republicans to curtail voting rights flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed.



Give Us the Ballot Reviews

Give Us the Ballot
Sloan

An excellent description of the history of the Voting Rights Act and the profound threats facing the rights for all eligible citizens to vote While it can be a depressing read, especially if the reader lived through the civil and voting rights battles of the 1960s, this is a book that demands reading as the movement to restrict voting rights continues to gain momentum I recommend it highly.

Give Us the Ballot
Caroline

If you weren t already in complete despair after reading Dark Money, this should finish the job Detailed history of Republican actions since the early nineties to restrict voting rights, and the conservative Supreme Court s support for those changes.The first half of the book is encouraging, as it details the creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 John Lewis is a central and continuing character This is one area where LBJ shines, despite first saying the VRA wasn t in the cards right now.

Give Us the Ballot
Kayle Barnes

Should be mandatory reading for everyone in advance of voting this election cycle Key takeaway TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EARLY VOTING

Give Us the Ballot
Scott Rhee

Our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, realizing that true democracy was both unrealistic and unworkable, chose as the model of our government a republic, whereby power resides in elected representatives given authority by the citizenry that elected them Under this model of government, the most vital and important tool is the Vote.History is awash in the blood of patriots who have fought and died for the Vote, and yet, today, sixteen years into the 21st century, forces are continually at work t

Give Us the Ballot
Mlg

Very well researched book on the recent history of voter suppression It begins with the passage of the Voter Rights Act in 1965 and continues up until the Obama administration.Many of the stories of voter suppression of blacks in the South are disgusting Remedies were proposed and often were supported by both parties Somewhere along the line, Republicans realized that with changing demographics, they couldn t win elections without cheating Assaults on the VRA followed, along with gerrymander

Give Us the Ballot
Sushmita

So many highlights An exhaustive but not entirely exhausting review of voting rights in America Berman covers the struggles, the triumphs, and the utter frustration as successive administrations build momentum to curtail voting rights starting with the Reagan administration and ultimately striking down Section 5 of the VRA in 2013 Berman sprinkles some choice hyperbole throughout, like personal favorites Von Spakovsky s unusual name, which sounded like a nineteenth century Austrian vill

Give Us the Ballot
Jean Poulos

Berman says that the 1965 Voting Rights Amendment spawned an equally committed group of counterrevolutionaries Since the V.R.A s passage, they have waged a decades long campaign to restrict voting right Berman argues that these counterrevolutionaries have in recent years controlled a majority on the Supreme Court and have set their sights on undoing the accomplishment of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.Berman explores how the debate over voting rights for the past 50 years has been a debate b

Give Us the Ballot
Brandon Abraham

The Nation s Ari Berman narrates the story of the Voting Rights Act since its adoption under the height of Great Society legislation and in the wake of the Blood Sunday March to recent attempts by the Supreme Court to adopt a restrictive interpretation of the law s scope, effectively, the author argues, freeing the Tea Party controlled governments of the Old Confederacy from federal oversight and accelerating a pattern of restricting the right to vote not seen since the end of Reconstructio

Give Us the Ballot
Matt Austin

Mr Berman s book started off as an entertaining read In the opening chapters, the reader was provided with a thorough history of voting rights, covering freedom summer, SNCC, and Selma Initially, I was hooked After 200 pages, my interest took a precipitous fall While the book was very engaging at the start, it became long winded and I lost interest Voting rights is a critical issue, and Mr Berman did a great job providing a historical context, but he lost me 3 4 the way through Ultimatel

Give Us the Ballot
Ian Rose

This is not an easy read, either in terms of length or content It s of a textbook than a thriller, but it s exactly the textbook I wanted on the modern history of the right to vote and of the sustained attack on that right If I could send one book right now to everyone I know with any political interest, this would be the one.

thumbnail Title: Give Us the Ballot
Author:Ari Berman
ISBN :0374158274
ranting: 4.5
Reviewer: 75 Reviews
Description: In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the VRA and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights, from 1965 to t

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