Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field

Regular price $ 24.95

by Howard Bryant

Beacon Press

1/21/2020, hardcover

SKU: 9780807019559


A bold and impassioned meditation on injustice in our country that punctures the illusion of a postracial America and reveals it as a place where authoritarianism looms large.

Whether the issues are protest, labor, patriotism, or class division, it is clear that professional sports are no longer simply fun and games. Rather, the industry is a hotbed of fractures and inequities that reflect and even drive some of the most divisive issues in our country.

The nine provocative and deeply personal essays in Full Dissidence confront the dangerous narratives that are shaping the current dialogue in sports and mainstream culture. The book is a reflection on a culture where African Americans continue to navigate the sharp edges of whiteness--as citizens who are always at risk of being told, often directly from the White House, to go back to where they came from. The topics Howard Bryant takes on include the player-owner relationship, the militarization of sports, the myth of integration, the erasure of black identity as a condition of success, and the kleptocracy that has forced America to ask itself if its beliefs of freedom and democracy are more than just words.

In a time when authoritarianism is creeping into our lives and is being embraced in our politics, Full Dissidence will make us question the strength of the bonds we think we have with our fellow citizens, and it shows us why we must break from the malignant behaviors that have become normalized in everyday life.


"Howard Bryant's writing is lucid and purposeful, weaving politics and powerful critiques of the racial and gendered hierarchies that rule the world of high-stakes professional sports throughout his gripping prose. Sports may be his starting point, but Bryant is attacking capitalist culture and its infiltration into all aspects of our lives, including the games we love to watch to get away from it all." --Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of Race for Profit and From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

"This collection of essays is everything I hold dear, a searing rejection of everything racist America holds dear inside and outside the lines. Howard Bryant does not hold back in his withering and thoughtful dissections and rejections of the racial politics of athletics and the athletic politics of race. This book is an oracle."  --Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

"This is exceptional. The facts of where we are, are laid out. Howard's opinions are not baseless or overreactions but based on facts that confirm every assertion he makes. Full Dissidence is a compelling book." --Joe Dumars, three-time NBA champion, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame

About the Author:

Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN the Magazine and is a correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition. He has won several awards for his commentary writing. His books include The Heritage, Juicing the Game, and The Last Hero. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.