It was a lot to take in after reading this right after finishing White Fragility, but I appreciated more of the history laid out in this book. This book does a good job of laying out the solid connections between slavery, Jim Crow, and now mass incarceration and how in a way each one has built upon the previous.

The statistics and history throughout the book make it very real and in some points makes it seem hopeless, especially with how much it points to “both sides” doing a lot of damage to the system for minorities. A lot of sad examples of how things were done by design and why it’s still overlooked, even by progressive people.

Alexander definitely does a great job of highlighting a serious issue, but the length and depth of this book makes it harder to recommend for people with less interest in racial justice. I’d hope a lot of people would read this book, but if you’re only going to read one, I’d probably recommend White Fragility because it is so short and easy to read.