The heartbreaking, liberating truth about what racism has cost all of us.
What would make a society drain its public swimming baths and fill them with concrete rather than opening them to everyone? Political researcher Heather McGhee sets out across America to learn why white voters so often act against their own interests. Why do they block changes that would help them, and even destroy their own advantages, whenever people of colour also stand to benefit?
Their tragedy is that they believe they can't win unless somebody else loses. But this is a lie, and McGhee marshals overwhelming economic evidence, and a profound well of empathy, to reveal the surprising truth: even racists lose out under white supremacy. There is no escaping the burden of discrimination.
Indeed, as McGhee shows, it was racist lending policies that triggered the 2008 financial crisis, and there can be little prospect of tackling global climate change until its zero-sum delusions are defeated. America's racism is everybody's problem. The Sum of Us is a heartbreaking, panoramic insight into the workings of prejudice. And it is a timely invitation to solidarity among all humans, 'to piece together a new story of who we could be to one another'.
'This is the book I've been waiting for' - Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author, How to Be an Antiracist
'A must-read for everyone' - Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter
'With intelligence and care (as well as with a trove of sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes heart-opening true stories) Heather McGhee shows us what racism has cost all of us' - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
'A vital, urgent, stirring, beautifully written book that offers a compassionate roadmap out of our present troubled moment' - George Saunders, Booker Prize-winning author
Heather McGhee is an expert in economic and social policy. The former president of the think tank Demos, she has drafted US legislation, testified before Congress and appeared on numerous news discussion shows. She chairs the board of Color of Change, America's largest online racial justice organization.
Social discrimination & inequality