"America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s"

Jun 8, 2021

On today's ST, we are discussing a new book on race relations and American history that offers a bold, thorough, and eye-opening critique of our nation's criminal justice apparatus, its police operations, and indeed its entire legal system. Our guest is the well-regarded historian Elizabeth Hinton, who is an associate professor of history and African American studies at Yale University as well as a professor of law at Yale Law School. Her book is "America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s." Per a front-page review of this work in The New York Times Book Review: "[A] groundbreaking, deeply researched, and profoundly heart-rending account of the origins of our national crisis of police violence against Black America.... 'America on Fire' is more than a brilliant guided tour through our nation's morally ruinous past. It reveals the deep roots of the current movement to reject a system of law enforcement that defines as the problem the very people who continue to seek to liberate themselves from racial oppression. In undertaking this work, Hinton achieves something rare. She deploys scholarly erudition in the service of policy transformation, propelled by Black voices whose hitherto untold stories of protest add much-needed sustenance to America's collective imagination."