The incredible story of the death of Eric Garner, the birth of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and the new fault lines of race, protest, policing and the power of people.
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City after a police officer put him in what has been described as a "chokehold" during an arrest for selling "loosies," or single cigarettes. The final moments of his life were captured on video and seen by millions, sparking an international series of protests that built into the transformative "Black Lives Matter" movement. Weeks after Garner's death, two New York City police officers were killed by a young black man from Maryland, in what he claimed was revenge for Garner's death. Those killings in turn led to police protests, clashes with New York's new liberal mayor, and an eventual work slow-down.
Matt Taibbi, bestselling author and “the best polemic journalist in America” explores the roots and aftermath of Eric Garner’s death and tells a compelling story of the crime, the grand jury, the media circus, the murder of the police, and the protests from every side. The result is a riveting work of literary journalism that breaks new ground and provides a masterful narrative of urban America, the perversion of its policing and a brilliant examination of the racial tensions that threaten to tear it apart.
One of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism - Independent
Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power - Bernie Sanders
Matt Taibbi is the best polemic journalist in America - Felix Salmon
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"The thing is, when you actually think about it, it's not funny. Given what's at stake, it's more like the opposite, like the first sign of the collapse of the United States as a global superpower. Twenty years from now, when we're all living like prehistory hominids and hunting rats with sticks, we'll probably look back at this moment as the beginning of the end."
In this groundbreaking battery of dispatches from the heartland of America, Matt Taibbi tells the full story of the Trump phenomenon, from its tragi-comic beginnings to the apocalyptic election. Full of sharp, on-the-ground reporting and gallows humour, his incisive analysis goes beyond the bizarre and disturbing election to tell a wider story of the apparent collapse of American democracy. Taibbi saw the essential themes right from the start: the power of spectacle over truth; the end of a shared reality on the left and right; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism.
From the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the aimless Hillary Clinton campaign, across the flailing media coverage and the trampled legacy of Obama, this is the story of ordinary voters forced to bear witness to the whole charade. At the centre of it all, "a bumbling train wreck of a candidate who belched and preened his way past a historically weak field" who, improbably, has taken control of the world's most powerful nation.
This is essential and hilarious reading that explores how the new America understands itself, and about the future of the world just beyond the horizon.