Blackballed: The Black Vote and Us Democracy: With a New Essay

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$14.95  $13.90
New York Review of Books
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Darryl Pinckney is the author of two novels, High Cotton and Black Deutschland, three works of non-fiction, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature, Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy, Busted in New York and Other Essays, and a memoir, Come Back in September: A Literary Education on West 67th Street, Manhattan.


"A capacious and mind-opening experience awaits within." --Publishers Weekly starred review

"This brief but incisive reflection on the history of voting among African-Americans takes the form of a classic personal essay: light and conversational, circling its subject in a deliberately meandering style that ends up revealing more than a frontal attack might have." --The New Yorker

"[A] slim but powerful volume." --The Independent (UK)

"Blackballed is a masterfully-crafted study of American democracy and the changing role of the black vote within it, from Reconstruction to the election of Barack Obama. It is insightful, personal, informative, and remarkably timely. The book not only speaks to current questions about race within the social and political arenas, but to broader issues of the health and legitimacy of a democracy in which some voices are kept from entering the dialogue. Blackballed is one of those special works that effortlessly transports readers to another time while subtly drawing thematic ties to the present day. One leaves the experience not only appreciating the work done by generations past, but contemplating one's own role in the historical arc." --Challenges to Democracy blog, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

Praise for Darryl Pinckney

"An extraordinary achievement.... This tender, often droll portrait of one young life is also an arrestingly mature, original account of the condition of being black through several generations and of America in the sixties--a major part of our history. [High Cotton] is also beautifully written, exhilaratingly intelligent, and a joy to read." --Susan Sontag

"With High Cotton, Pinckney joins the first ranks of American writers.... A major achievement." --Henry Louis Gates Jr.

"The essays [in Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature] are full of great personal feeling, intellectual curiosity, and original, groundbreaking research....He is simultaneously sympathetic, skeptical, and analytical." --Lorrie Moore

"In his formalism, one sees a mind that's viewing things from a distance, [with] irony and danger and wit and darkness. But in the darkness there is this humor, a kind of joyous light." --Robert Wilson

"Blackballed is a great argument for the complexities of history and politics--a welcome argument after four years of Trumpist rhetoric, brute and brutalizing in its simplicity." --Anthony Domestico, Commonweal