Reviews

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones

hankatcol's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective slow-paced

5.0

ate_nina_reads's review

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challenging dark informative reflective medium-paced

5.0

a necessary read for every U.S. citizen. “the 1619 project” is a highly effective collection of essays, history, poetry, and photography that illustrates this country’s painful tapestry of oppression—and how we are dealing with those effects today.

karabear's review

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challenging informative medium-paced

5.0

webslingingadam's review against another edition

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challenging informative inspiring medium-paced

3.5

So I don’t think this was meant to be consumed the way I consumed it. It probably should be read an article at a time, given time to digest before reading another instead of one after another like I did. The very nature of the project means that it will be repetitive with similar information coming up in different essays. That being said majority of the essays are very good and informative. 

mpimental's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring sad tense medium-paced

4.5

flamethrower's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

jamesmata's review

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5.0

Deserves to be revisited annually. I learned so much.

knightofswords's review

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3.0

While I think that the essays from the individual contributors are, for the most part, excellent. I agree with most of the points (and praise) presented by Adam Hochschild in his NYTimes review of the book. Most of the essays included would be acceptable to read separately, and provide a refreshingly strong (and well argued) overview of an American history that has largely been ignored and minimized, and do seem to do a good job of working to remedy these historical blind spots.

However, I do feel that the book's weakest points are the essays from Nikole Hannah-Jones - most of the mistakes, slipshod statements and oddly constructed arguments emerge in her writings and commentary. For instance, Hannah-Jones opens the book with several paragraphs discussing about how bothered she was that she was corrected for making a series of historical errors in the magazine edition of 1619. Hannah-Jones gives the impression felt that these (legitimate) historical critiques were on the same level as the bad-faith readings from right-wing commentators and the unhinged rants of the Talk Radio radio/Facebook crowd - this sets a fairly shaky foundation for the piece, and is unfortunate that it is featured in the middle of a well-written essay about Hannah-Jones' personal interest in African-American history, and her struggles to learn it while growing up.

I also have some issues with the framework used for the analysis, which centers racism as the sole, main driver of American history. I would argue that capitalism and the American interpretation of capitalism is, by far, a much more important driver of American history, with social factors like race and racism being jury-rigged to fit in and support the dominant capitalism framework, post facto.

It is a shame that only Matthew Desmond's chapter explicitly touches on this, especially considering the great work that's been done in this area by scholars like Edward Baptist, Matt Karp, Sven Beckett, Stephanie Rogers-Jones, Daina Berry and others.

smellymiche's review against another edition

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informative inspiring reflective fast-paced

4.75

finneas's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful informative reflective slow-paced

4.5