This is Not America: Why Black Lives in Britain Matter (Hardback)
  • This is Not America: Why Black Lives in Britain Matter (Hardback)

This is Not America: Why Black Lives in Britain Matter (Hardback)

Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 22/06/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Asserting that too much of the debate around racism in the UK is based on American arguments, Owolade's trenchant critique proposes a radical reframing of current discourse to reflect the Black British experience.

Across the West, racial injustice has become a matter of urgency. Terms like 'critical race theory' and 'intersectionality' are everywhere and, in the rush to get it right, Britain has followed the lead of the world's dominant political power: America. But what if we've been looking in the wrong place?

In This is Not America, Tomiwa Owolade argues that too much of the debate around racism in Britain is viewed through the prism of American ideas that don't reflect the history, challenges and achievements of black communities at home.

Humane, empirical and passionate, this book promises to start a new conversation around race and, vitally, shed light on black British life today.

Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9781838956219
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 445 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 23 mm
Edition: Main


Excellent... This is Not America lands us in that complex area called humanity, which, Owolade argues, is the best place for us to forge common goals - Tony Sewell, Telegraph

Passionate and timely... [Owolade] concludes: 'To define someone exclusively by their race is to acquiesce to the visions of racists.' Amen to that. - Colin Grant, Observer

The most interesting meditation on what it means to be black in the modern world in 25 years. - Sir Trevor Phillips

[Owolade's] argument has needed saying for years... the book deserves to succeed - Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Persuasive and insightful... [Owolade's] manifesto for a black British identity, one that sees the two identities as 'indivisible' rather than opposed, is compelling and admirable, as is his love of his Britishness - Sunday Times

Owolade's book is a timely exploration of difficult questions. Proudly unorthodox, sometimes provocative, it has the merit of being engaging even when it enrages. - S. I. Martin, Guardian

Packed with illuminating statistics and potted biographies, This Is Not America is an espresso of a book - a short and stimulating affair that will leave you feeling smarter - The Times

Wide-ranging... [Owolade's] intent is to engender a form of antiracism that is UK-specific, thus more truthful and useful - New Statesman

A brave argument - Michela Wrong, Spectator

Owolade draws on his personal experiences and those of others to craft a nuanced, compassionate and surprisingly optimistic view of race relations in Britain. - Irish Times

An erudite book, full of clear, courageous, common-sense observations about the different histories and patterns of racism that divide Britain and the US - Jewish Chronicle

Impressive... a resounding appeal for openness, intelligence, imagination and common sense in the discussion of racial difference in our society - The Tablet

An outstanding achievement... This is Not America is a deeply researched, passionately argued and original contribution to one of the most important debates in modern Britain. I admired it immensely. - Dr Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess

Tomiwa Owolade has achieved the near impossible feat of bringing much needed reason, nuance and balance to the super charged debate about race and racism that has migrated from America to Britain and many other European democracies. - Jacob Mchangama, author of Free Speech

Subtle, subversive and compassionate, this is a book not just for black Britons but for all Britons interested in the evolving character of our national identity, and who want to feel optimistic about it. - Tom Holland, author of Rubicon

A brave and utterly engrossing book. Nuanced, fair-minded and thoughtful... This is Not America is essential reading for anyone interested in some of the most contentious issues of our time - Ian Buruma, author of Year Zero

Tomiwa Owolade navigates questions of race and identity in British politics with a rare combination of subtlety, clarity and moral urgency. Powered by historical scholarship, This is Not America steers a course of cool intellectual rigour through a debate that is too often polarised and polemical - Rafael Behr, author of Politics: A Survivor's Guide

Eloquent and insightful - Dr Remi Adekoya, author of Biracial Britain

A calm and insightful voice in an often overheated debate. - Kenan Malik, author of The Quest for a Moral Compass

This is Not America is not only indispensable writing and indispensable thinking - it is essential to working out who we are in Britain today - Ben Judah, author of This is London

Few books truly deserve to be called 'necessary' but This is Not America is one of them. - Ian Leslie, author of How to Disagree

Weaves elegantly through statistics, literary narratives and personal stories to reveal the radically different social and cultural contexts of the two countries with regard to race... [and] forms part of the urgent and long-awaited intellectual work needed to create a genuinely fair and socially just society - The Critic

Owolade tells an optimistic story of racial progress... Thinkers like these [Owolade] are poised to dramatically alter a conversation that has hitherto been dominated by a narrow cadre of white progressive elites and minority radicals. - Literary Review

Well informed, nuanced and balanced, Tomiwa Owolade is the optimistic future of Britain's race debate - David Goodhart, author of The Road to Somewhere

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