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Nigger by Randall Kennedy
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Nigger

The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word - with a New Introduction by the Author

$24.50 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Langston Darby
Length 5 hours 24 minutes
Language English
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Nigger: it is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history, though, at the same time, a word that reminds us of “the ironies and dilemmas, tragedies and glories of the American experience.” In this tour de force, distinguished Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy—author of the highly acclaimed Race, Crime, and the Law— “put[s] a tracer on nigger,” to identify how it has been used and by whom, while analyzing the controversies to which it has given rise.

With unprecedented candor and insight Kennedy explores such questions as: How should nigger be defined? Is it, as some have declared, necessarily more hurtful than other racial epithets? Do blacks have a right to use nigger even as others do not? Should the law view nigger baiting as a provocation strong enough to reduce the culpability of a person who responds violently to it? Should a person be fired from his or her job for saying nigger? How might the destructiveness of nigger be assuaged?

To be ignorant of the meanings and effects of nigger, says Kennedy, is to render oneself vulnerable to all manner of peril. This book brilliantly and sensitively addresses that concern.

RANDALL KENNEDY is the Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School, where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations.  He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia, the American Law Institute, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of seven books and lives in Deham, Massachusetts.

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Reviews

“Provocative. . . . engaging and informative.” —The New York Times

“Should be required reading. . . . This little book deserves to be read especially if we seek better understanding of ourselves and others.” –The Dallas Morning News

“Demonstrates a key truth about the N-word. . . . it tracks our racial history and stars in a slew of court decisions that reveal large truths about bigotry and free expression.”–Philadelphia Inquirer

“A detailed, well-researched book. . . . Kennedy boils centuries of usage–in conversation, literature, legal proceedings–down to the most pertinent and instructive.” –San Francisco Chronicle

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