American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

Regular price $ 19.99

by Wesley Lowery

Mariner Books

6/18/2024, paperback

SKU: 9780063320918


Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Lowery confronts the sickness at the heart of American society: the cyclical pattern of violence that has marred every moment of racial progress in this country, and whose bloodshed began anew following Obama's 2008 election.

In 2008, Barack Obama's historic victory was heralded as a turning point for the country. And so it would be--just not in the way that most Americans hoped. The election of the nation's first Black president fanned long-burning embers of white supremacy, igniting a new and frightening phase in a historical American cycle of racial progress and white backlash.

In American Whitelash, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Wesley Lowery charts the return of this blood-stained trend, showing how the forces of white power retaliated against Obama's victory--and both profited from, and helped to propel, the rise of Donald Trump. Interweaving deep historical analysis with gripping firsthand reporting on both victims and perpetrators of violence, Lowery uncovers how this vicious cycle is carrying us into ever more perilous territory, how the federal government has failed to intervene, and how we still might find a route of escape.


"Lowery provides urgent, necessary perspective... A masterful blend of narrative history and empathetic reporting."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The rise of white supremacist violence is one of the most important stories in American life today. In American Whitelash, Wesley Lowery guides the reader through the social, psychological, and historical realities that animate this violence. It is both a brilliant and unsettling examination of a part of America that many Americans would prefer to look away from. This book reminds us that we cannot look away. American Whitelash is an essential text, one that further demonstrates why Lowery is one of our country's most important and gifted journalists." -- Clint Smith, author of How the Word is Passed

"Wesley Lowery's American Whitelash is an essential chronicle of America's recent past, told with a historian's sense of scope and a reporter's eye for detail. Already the most compelling journalist covering the Black Lives Matter movement and its catalysts, here Lowery astutely turns his focus to the forces of reaction that both preceded the election of Barack Obama and found new strength in its aftermath." -- Adam Serwer, author of The Cruelty is the Point

About the Author:

Wesley Lowery is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. He is the executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, and a Journalist in Residence at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. In nearly a decade as a national correspondent, Lowery has specialized in issues of race, justice and law enforcement. He led the Washington Post team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016 for the creation and analysis of a real-time database to track fatal police shootings in the United States. His project, "Murder with Impunity," an unprecedented look at unsolved homicides in major American cities, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2019. Lowery's first book, They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement, was a New York Times bestseller and awarded the Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose by the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He lives in Washington, DC.