A Dreadful Deceit: Book summary and reviews of A Dreadful Deceit by Jacqueline Jones

A Dreadful Deceit

The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama's America

By Jacqueline Jones

A Dreadful Deceit
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2013,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

In 1656, a planter in colonial Maryland tortured and killed one of his slaves, an Angolan man named Antonio who refused to work the fields. Over three centuries later, a Detroit labor organizer named Simon Owens watched as strikebreakers wielding bats and lead pipes beat his fellow autoworkers for protesting their inhumane working conditions. Antonio and Owens had nothing in common but the color of their skin and the economic injustices they battled - yet the former is what defines them in America's consciousness. In A Dreadful Deceit, award-winning historian Jacqueline Jones traces the lives of these two men and four other African Americans to reveal how the concept of race has obscured the factors that truly divide and unite us.

Expansive, visionary, and provocative, A Dreadful Deceit explodes the pernicious fiction that has shaped American history.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Heartfelt...These riveting tales emerge from Jones's deep knowledge of African-American history and her brilliant use of previously unexploited sources." - Publishers Weekly

"Jones offers a provocative analysis of 'race' and the abuse of power." - Booklist

"Starred Review. A powerful exploration of an enduring myth that has haunted America over the centuries, from one of our best chroniclers of America's struggle with racial inequality...a masterful book about its history." - Kirkus

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Jacqueline Jones is Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History at the University of Texas at Austin. Winner of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Bancroft Prize for American History, among many other awards and distinctions, she lives in Austin, TX.

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