Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (Paperback)

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Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (Paperback)

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The groundbreaking, "eerily prophetic, almost haunting" work on American racism and the struggle for racial justice (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow).

In Faces at the Bottom of the Well, civil rights activist and legal scholar Derrick Bell uses allegory and historical example—including the classic story "The Space Traders"—to argue that racism is an integral and permanent part of American society. African American struggles for equality are doomed to fail, he writes, so long as the majority of whites do not see their own well-being threatened by the status quo. Bell calls on African Americans to face up to this unhappy truth and abandon a misplaced faith in inevitable progress. Only then will blacks, and those whites who join with them, be in a position to create viable strategies to alleviate the burdens of racism.

Now with a new foreword by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, this classic book was a pioneering contribution to critical race theory scholarship, and it remains urgent and essential reading on the problem of racism in America.
Derrick Bell (1930-2011) was a civil rights attorney, pioneering legal scholar, professor, and political activist. A full-time visiting professor at New York University Law School for over two decades, he was previously the first tenured African American professor on the faculty of Harvard Law School and the first African American dean of the University of Oregon School of Law. He is also the author of And We Are Not Saved and several other books.
Product Details ISBN: 9781541645530
ISBN-10: 1541645537
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: October 30th, 2018
Pages: 304
Language: English
"Eerily prophetic, almost haunting, and yet at the same time oddly reassuring."—Michelle Alexander, from the Foreword

“Bell’s perspective retains its relevance. Even after his death, it has been far easier to disagree with him than to prove him wrong.”—Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

"Derrick Bell, who is often described as the founder or godfather of critical race theory…. has been an important influence on some of today’s most influential writers on race, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander…. For his supporters and critics alike, Derrick Bell remains a central figure. Nearly three decades after the publication of his most widely read book [Faces at the Bottom of the Well], his stark vision of the racial divide in American society and history has retained its power to provoke debate and activism across the political spectrum."—Wall Street Journal

"Effective...chilling."—New York Times Book Review

"A disturbing but ultimately inspiring book."—San Francisco Chronicle

THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright