• A Colony in a Nation

  • By: Chris Hayes
  • Narrated by: Chris Hayes
  • Length: 5 hrs
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,486 ratings)

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A Colony in a Nation

By: Chris Hayes
Narrated by: Chris Hayes
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Publisher's Summary

Emmy Award-winning news anchor and New York Times best-selling author Chris Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a Colony and a Nation. America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, but nearly every empirical measure - wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation - reveals that racial inequality hasn't improved since 1968. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient best seller Twilight of the Elites ("a stunning polemic," said Ta-Nehisi Coates), award-winning journalist Chris Hayes offers a powerful new framework in which to understand our current crisis. Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?

Blending wide-ranging historical research with political, social, and economic analysis, A Colony in a Nation explains how a Nation founded on justice constructed the Colony - and how it threatens our democracy.

©2017 Chris Hayes (P)2017 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So much to this book!

First of all, I really enjoyed listening to the author tell this story. He has such professional and personal ownership of the story and it resonates throughout. Which is good, because I know I'm going to have to re-listen to it, and possibly go buy a copy. There is so much to this story, and I thought I kind of understood the nuances of it before reading this. Not close. Every one needs to read this. we might understand each other so much better if we did.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great food for thought!

This book does well to take us far back in our history to understand the roots of our not so new punishment and imprisonment system that has now run amok. Chris helps us to think of uur own prejudices and question what we consider to be valid beliefs. More myths busted. More wondering how we will get our society to fix this atrocity that continues every minute, every day.

15 people found this helpful

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A Powerful Essay for All to Read!

Chris Hayes 'A Colony in a Nation' coupled with Michelle Alexander's 'The New Jim Crow' provide wonderfully analytical look at law & order in America. While carefully detailing how the huge economic divide treats each. A must read!!

9 people found this helpful

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brilliantly written.

I loved how he was able to connected the dots between the past colonial rule with the present and it's eye opening. I'm a huge fan of Chris Hayes and his passion and brilliance comes through in this book. His coverage and analysis of the events in Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, Tamir Rice is spectacular.

8 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly Good

I was in two minds as to whether Chris Hayes was the right person to be weighing in institutional racism and policing in the US. Overall my view is that TV talking heads are good at acting like they know about current affairs, but that there is less below the surface than you would think. This book exceeded that expectation. I wouldn't call it academic although he does a pretty good job drawing on a lot of the best scholarship on the topic and refers to that work in careful and nuanced ways (I have read other authors that seem to quote other thinkers after reading the amazon blurb for the book). More importantly he gives a perspective on the story that makes it an "advantage" that he is a rich white man offering an opinion. How? I think the best example is where he contrasts policing in "colony" neighborhoods with that on college campuses. The framing is spot on - a sharp divide between what policing looks like when you do/don't see the value and potential of the people being policed. he is honest about his own position and bias and it helps. As expected he reads it really well. Maybe even "too well" - the familiar cable news animation can get a little overwhelming. Finally, the book deserve A LOT of credit for only being 5 hours long. I think a lot of non-fiction authors would benefit from following this lead - make a careful point with your best evidence and then end the book...rather than repeat the same idea for another 5, 10, or 15 hours. I am slightly surprised to say that I strongly recommend you read this book

7 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing, arrogant, tedious

Normally I like Chris Hayes' insights but this book is horrible. The narration, by Chris himself, was awful. He should NOT attempt to do character voices ever again. They were either pathetic or insulting or both. The topic itself, comparing the way the US colonies were treated under British rule to the way poor are treated in today's America, was interesting for about the first hour or so but then Chris went on and on dumping stories and assorted research, all of which supports his beliefs of course, willy nilly without a clear train of thought. He really should have condensed the book to focus on his key points and potential solutions.

Finally Chris ends the book with an anecdote of a group of young boys who are messing about in a park, harassing families, and generally being young boys. When they steal a man's phone, Chris seems to think it best not to intervene by calling the cops or by helping the man get his phone back. His thinking being (I'm assuming based on the book) that he worries the young boys will get shot or arrested by the police. At this point I'm nearly shouting at the speakers "You jerk! You could have tried to counsel the boys when you first saw them harassing a father with a kid in stroller. You could have tried to give chase when they stole the phone. And yes, you could have called the cops after they stole a person's phone!" Chris seems to think society policing itself is not a worthy goal. And since we can't call the police either, I guess we should just let boys be boys. What tripe!

7 people found this helpful

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It was good

I a Hispanic male who grew up in the Bronx I understand where where he is coming from yet I wish I had more of a solution to this problem I enjoyed the book it was interesting and good to listen to if you everything that's going on.

6 people found this helpful

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The uncomfortable truths exposed

Since the recent presidential election, I live with feelings of disbelief that my fellow citizens, friends, and even my own spouse voted for a man filled with hatred, ignorance, and disgusting hedonistic behavior. This new reality is tangible and uncomfortably physical in the pit of my stomach every day. This book opened my eyes to the reasons so many chose to vote the way they did. It does not make me feel any better but at least I can understand. The author layed it all out so
I can finally see the very uncomfortable and depressing reason so many people made this horrific choice. I am female. 66 years old, white, and a college graduate. I am a Hospice nurse and see firsthand the great equalizer of all people as they face death. I demonstrated against Vietnam and marched with Martin Luther King. When we finally elected our first black president, I thought " yes.. we finally are heading in the right direction". I had the same thought as I saw LBGT citizens finally gaining acceptance. So I was and continue to be completely dumbfounded as I watch our new reality unfold day after day. This author was able to take the reader step by step to the realization that those people who voted for Trump are not evil. They were victims of their innermost fears and grabbed Trump like a life preserver as he convinced them they were drowning in a changing Country that had forgotten them.

4 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking!

This is not easy to listen to although interesting with excellent storytelling. It makes you question much you have previously thought. It is never boring!

4 people found this helpful

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Eye opening to say the least.

If you care about; social justice, history, economics, politics, governance and media this book and his reading of it will captivate you.

4 people found this helpful