New York Times Bestseller
Washington Post Bestseller

A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016
Nominated for the 2017 Hurston / Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book 2016
A Kirkus Best History Book of 2016
A Kirkus Best Book of 2016 To Explain Current Politics

An Entropy Best Nonfiction Book of 2016

A Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
Nominated for the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Nonfiction
A Buzzfeed Best Nonficiton Book of 2016
A Root Best Book of 2016

A Bustle Best Book 2016
A Chicago Review of books Best Nonfiction 2016

Most Ambitious Book of 2016 —The Washington Post

SOME AMERICANS cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America - more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America.

Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them—and in the process, gives us reason to hope.


Praise for Stamped From The Beginning

Engrossing and relentless.
The Washington Post
This definitive history of racist ideas should be required reading.
The Root
Ever-relevant context for the white supremist moments.
The Dallas Morning News
This book should be on every young leader’s bookshelf.
Ambitious, Magisterial.
Kirkus Review, STARRED
As compelling as the juiciest biography.
The Los Angeles Times
A fearless, brilliant history of racist thinking spanning 500 years.
The Guardian
I honestly wish every American would read this book.
Chicago Review of Books
The Atlantic
Graceful, engaging prose.
Tampa Bay Times
New Republic
Worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism.
The Seattle Times
Novelist Flair
The Stranger
Heavily researched yet readable.
A compelling, thoroughly enligtening, unsettling, and necessary read.
Must for serious readers.
Library Journal
Both wortwhile and extraordinary. . .essential.