Ibram X. Kendi, “Stamped From The Beginning”

Kendi’s National Book Award-winning study argues that racism in America has grown from deliberate policies rather than from emotional responses like fear or hatred. Starting with the Puritans, Kendi traces the development of racist ideas and their effect on racist practices through the lives of five thinkers, discussing Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Angela Davis. Within these profiles Kendi, professor of history and international studies at American University, identifies three strains of thought about race: segregation, antiracism, and assimilation; outlines their differences, and points to how each can be discredited in order to free the nation for the post-racial era it has long yearned for.

Kendi is in conversation with Wesley Lowery, a national correspondent for The Washington Post and author of They Can’t Kill Us All.

William Dalrymple on the ruthless rise of the British East India Company

The outrageous story of a group of financiers from a poor and damp island on the outer rim of Europe, who created a private company that became the biggest military and political power in all of India
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Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

Thomas Jefferson hated confrontation, and yet his understanding of power and of human nature enabled him to move men and to marshal ideas, to learn from his mistakes, and to prevail. Passionate about many things—women, his family, books, science, architecture, gardens, friends, Monticello, Paris—Jefferson loved America most, and he strove again and again, despite fierce opposition, to realize his vision: the creation, survival, and success of popular government in America. Jon Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history.