From the list on racism and the politics of public investment.
Who am I?
Ever since I first visited a prison during college and was shocked by its horrific conditions, I’ve been fascinated with America’s punitiveness—our tolerance for harsh, dehumanizing punishments. I pursued a Ph.D. in criminology in order to better understand the politics of crime and justice. I am constantly searching for “political space” within which to pursue meaningful criminal justice reform without provoking a punitive backlash. I was previously an associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and I am now a lecturer in criminology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Kevin's book list on racism and the politics of public investment
Why did Kevin love this book?
I loved The Sum of Us because it tells the political and economic history of race relations and investment in public infrastructure, benefits, and services in a readable and accessible manner.
McGhee recounts shocking stories of the ways that, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, hundreds of communities across the United States—governed by White people—chose to close or bulldoze public amenities like pools, parks, and campgrounds rather than desegregate them.
This is a sad story of the way that a generation of White Americans cut off their own nose to spite their face. In the decades since, more and more local amenities because privatized and fee-based, making it harder for poor and working-class people of all races to enjoy their communities.