Of Blood and Sweat: Book summary and reviews of Of Blood and Sweat by Clyde W. Ford

Of Blood and Sweat

Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth

by Clyde W. Ford

Of Blood and Sweat by Clyde W. Ford X
Of Blood and Sweat by Clyde W. Ford
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About this book

Book Summary

In this, provocative, timely, and painstakingly researched book, the award-winning author of Think Black tells the story of how Black labor helped to create and sustain the wealth of the white one percent throughout American history.

Clyde W. Ford uses the lives of individual Black men and women as a lens to explore the role they have played in creating American institutions of power and wealth—in agriculture, politics, jurisprudence, law enforcement, culture, medicine, financial services, and many other fields—while not being allowed to fully participate or share in the rewards. Today, activists have taken the struggle for racial equity and justice to the streets. Of Blood and Sweat goes back through time to excavate the roots of this struggle, from pre-colonial Africa through post-Civil War America. As Ford reveals, in tracing the history of almost any major American institution of power and wealth you'll find it was created by Black Americans, or created to control them.

Painstakingly researched and documented, Of Blood and Sweat is a compelling look at the past that holds broad implications for present-day calls for racial equity, racial justice, and the abolishment of systemic racism, and offers invaluable insight into our understanding of Black history and the story of America.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Novelist and psychotherapist Ford unearths in this fascinating history the inextricable links between America's 'systems of power' and the horrors of slavery...Ford weaves in stories of resistance...explains complex financial instruments in lucid terms; and paints vivid scenes of Black life in the U.S. The result is an essential reckoning with the roots of the racial wealth gap in America." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The book teems with ideas, sometimes in an onrushing embarrassment of riches, and often repeats the inarguable idea that as makers of much of the modern world's wealth, Black people continue to deserve a share. A compelling argument for long-overdue reparations—though much more than that alone." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ford's overlap of past and present, narrative and commentary is masterful, and makes this volume all the more valuable to those readers wise enough to allow the past to inform the future. Of Blood and Sweat is a myth-busting work of genius that will stand as the last word on this vital subject for a long time to come." - Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of A Slave in the White House and The Original Black Elite

This information about Of Blood and Sweat was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Clyde W. Ford

Clyde W. Ford was born in NYC. He's the author of thirteen works of fiction and non-fiction. He's also a psychotherapist, an accomplished mythologist, and a sought-after public speaker. In 2006, Ford received the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award in African American fiction. He was named a "Literary Lion" by the King County Library System in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2019. Clyde was voted "Best Writer of Bellingham, Washington" in 2006 and 2007 by readers of the Cascadia Weekly and he received the 2007 Bellingham, Washington Mayor's Arts Award in Literature. Ford is currently a speaker for Humanities Washington, an affiliate of the NEH, where he presents a program entitled, "Let's Talk About Race," around the state.

Clyde has participated in hundreds of media interviews and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, New Dimensions Radio, and National Public Radio. He lives in Bellingham, Washington where he writes aboard his 30-foot trawler, and cruises the waters of the Inside Passage.

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