Indecent Assembly: The North Carolina Legislature's Blueprint for the War on Democracy and Equality

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$16.95  $15.76
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5.2 X 7.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Gene R. Nichol is a law professor, editorial commentator, and author of The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina: Stories from Our Invisible Citizens (UNC Press, 2018) and a number of other books. He writes commentary for Raleigh News and Observer, Charlotte Observer, the Progressive Populist, and others. He is the Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor of law at the University of North Carolina. He was director of the UNC Poverty Center until it was closed by the UNC Board of Governors for publishing articles critical of the governor and General Assembly. Since 2015, his research has been supported by the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund. Nichol was president of the College of William & Mary (2005-2008), law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-1995), and dean at UNC from 1999-2005.


"The radical right chose the once-moderate state of North Carolina as a test site for its project of remaking the nation by rigging the rules of governance and misinforming the people. What will it mean for your life and our country if they succeed nationally? To read this searing survey from the front lines by democracy champion Gene Nichol is to be forearmed." --Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

"If you read this eloquent and deeply-informed book, you will see that Gene Nichol's insights into the mercenary politics of our time resonate far beyond the North Carolina state line. Readers across America will find themes, schemes and real human beings wedged in struggles that rage in many corners of this nation." --from the foreword by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Dr. Timothy B. Tyson

Gene Nichol has long been a clarion voice on issues of race and poverty in North Carolina. Unbeloved by the powerful and beloved by disadvantaged, his latest book unsparingly sets forth the politics of what he calls the State legislature's 'Blueprint for the War on Democracy and Equality.' Without fear or favor, Nichol tells the story of what has happened in a state once thought to have a reputation for moderation on issues of race, but that has become ground zero in the resurgence of America's racial recidivism." --Ted Shaw, Julius Chambers Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina, former Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

"Gene Nichol has long won admiration for his courage and eloquence in forthrightly championing the interests of the oppressed and the neglected. In this electrifying new book, he demonstrates that the assault of the Republican-dominated North Carolina legislature on the poor is more than ultra-conservative; it represents nothing less than a war of annihilation against our most revered, most fundamental constitutional rights. This is a must-read book -- not only for Tar Heels, but for all who abhor injustice and who cherish our republic." --William E. Leuchtenburg, past president of the American Historical Association, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, author of The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton

"Back in the 1980s, I had the privilege of serving two terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives. I was inspired to seek office because I was embarrassed that my state still had no kindergarten system. My state was in dire need of many progressive reforms. I took the oath, swore to uphold the seriously outdated constitution, and started filing bills to shake up things. None of them passed.
In those days, and for decades before, the State of North Carolina was the unquestioned leader of modern reforms in The South. It was viewed by us and by legislators from other states as the model of a sensible, workable, state government that got things done and tried to take care of its more vulnerable citizens.
Many times, in the middle of a debate, someone said, 'This is what they're doing in North Carolina and it's working.' Or, 'North Carolina passed this law twenty years ago.' These were powerful statements because the state's legislature was serious about education and equality.
Those days are gone. In 2013, hardcore conservative Republicans won big and put together super majorities in both the House and Senate. With a likeminded leader in the Governor's office, they immediately waged war against teachers and schools, the poor, women, elections, the courts, the environment, and those with darker skin.
The changes in North Carolina are shocking and depressing. Gene Nichol was either in the ring or agitating from a front row seat. He knows this sad story because he was there.
The war is still raging. And he's still fighting." --John Grisham