"Twelve years of archival research helped the authors produce this first comprehensive book on the Black Panther Party, its members, its leaders, and its resistance to the politics of the American government."--"Los Angeles Magazine"
"Lets you understand what happened--and why."--"American History"
"There have been at least a half dozen books and films by former Panthers, or about them, over the last decade. 'Black Against Empire, ' however, is unique among them in the scope and depth of its scholarship."--Hector Tobar"Los Angeles Times Book Review" (01/27/2013)
"A comprehensive and compelling history of the Black Panther Party . . . it is the book I would recommend to anyone wanting to read just one book about the Black Panthers."--Ron Jacobs"Counterpunch" (02/08/2013)
"An account that should be called, above everything else, 'definitive.' . . . A downright scientific analysis of a subject that leaves most readers understandably unable to stay neutral."--Cord Jefferson"Bookforum" (02/01/2013)
"Black against Empire breaks new scholarly ground in providing the first comprehensive history of the Black Panther Party."--Jeremy Kuzmarov"History News Network" (02/10/2013)
"A welcome addition to the literature about the Oakland-born organization that spread across the country like a prairie fire in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968 and that altered the consciousness of African Americans."--Jonah Raskin"San Francisco Chronicle" (02/22/2013)
"What Bloom and Martin have given us is as authoritative, respectful and complete a record of the Black Panther Party's workings as we are likely to get."--Mark Reynolds"Pop Matters" (04/11/2013)
"Black Against Empire may well become the definitive document of one of the most important American social movements of the 20th century."--Justin Remus"Smooth Magazine" (05/21/2013)
"In their thoroughly researched, definitive history of the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, Bloom and Martin offer a fascinating, compelling analysis of the politics of armed self-defense against police brutality. . . . Exceptional. A must read."--W. Glasker"Choice" (08/01/2013)
"A riveting and thoughtful narrative of the Party's formation and ideational evolution. . . . Black Against Empire is essential reading for those looking to understand the rise and fall of movements for social change."--Mary Potorti"Confluence" (10/15/2013)
"Future historians of the Panthers and American radicalism will find Black Against Empire a foundational text."--Michan Connor"Southern California Quarterly" (11/01/2013)
"A bracingly narrated, voluminously researched history of the Black Panther Party. It plumbs rare archives and provides trenchant analysis of how and why the Panthers tapped the historical moment and emerged as a potent force." FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2013--Christopher D. Cooke"Progressive" (01/01/2014)
"Black against Empire is easily the most impressive, sweeping, and substantive scholarly history of the BPP. . . . Black against Empre is a masterful work. It is analytically sophisticated, superbly researched, and a fine addition to the disparate histories of the most audacious and significant black leftist group of the period."--Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar"Journal of American History" (03/01/2014)
There have been at least a half dozen books and films by former Panthers, or about them, over the last decade. Black Against Empire, however, is unique among them in the scope and depth of its scholarship. --Hector Tobar"Los Angeles Times Book Review" (01/27/2013)"
A comprehensive and compelling history of the Black Panther Party . . . it is the book I would recommend to anyone wanting to read just one book about the Black Panthers. --Ron Jacobs"Counterpunch" (02/08/2013)"
An account that should be called, above everything else, definitive. . . . A downright scientific analysis of a subject that leaves most readers understandably unable to stay neutral. --Cord Jefferson"Bookforum" (02/01/2013)"
Black against Empire breaks new scholarly ground in providing the first comprehensive history of the Black Panther Party. --Jeremy Kuzmarov"History News Network" (02/10/2013)"
A welcome addition to the literature about the Oakland-born organization that spread across the country like a prairie fire in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968 and that altered the consciousness of African Americans. --Jonah Raskin"San Francisco Chronicle" (02/22/2013)"
What Bloom and Martin have given us is as authoritative, respectful and complete a record of the Black Panther Party s workings as we are likely to get. --Mark Reynolds"Pop Matters" (04/11/2013)"
"The first comprehensive history of the party, a history which, as Bloom and Martin explain, has been mostly forbidden ."--Fredrick Harris"London Review of Books" (06/20/2013)"
"A riveting and thoughtful narrative of the Party s formation and ideational evolution. . . . Black Against Empire is essential reading for those looking to understand the rise and fall of movements for social change."--Mary Potorti"Confluence" (10/15/2013)"
"The first high-quality history of the Black Panther Party. . . . For the first time, one can read, in a single volume, a well-researched history that explains the origins of the Panthers in the context of Oakland neighborhood politics and the group s transformation into a social service organization. For that reason alone, the book will become a classic in the growing black power scholarship."--Fabio Rojas"American Historical Review" (04/01/2014)"
The Panthershave been finding an interested audience in a new generation of activists looking to redress police violence, massive inequality, and apolitical establishmentunresponsive to the desires of the vast majority of American citizens. The Beyonce event comes on the heels of Stanley Nelson s film"The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," which like"The Black Power Mixtape"has reanimated a discussion on the legacy of the Panthers. If Zirin is going to be proven correct, and discussions about the Panthers are going to be bracing and constructive, participants will need a better understanding of the complex politics of the Party. There is no better place to begin this reassessmentthan"Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party, "Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin s comprehensive account of the movement, from its inception out of the Civil Rights Movement to its undoing in the mid-70s."--Michael Schapira"Full Stop" (02/16/2016)"
From the Inside Flap
This is the definitive history of one of the great revolutionary organizations in the history of this country. In this age of the Occupy Movement, let us learn deep democratic lessons and strong anti-imperial conclusions from this magisterial book! Cornel West, author of "Race Matters"
This meticulously researched history explores the combination of revolutionary commitment and historical circumstance that enabled the emergence of the Black Panther Party. Because they do not shy away from the contradictions that animated this movement, Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin pose crucial questions about the genesis, rise, and decline of the BPP that are as relevant to young generations of activists as they are to those who came of age during that era. Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz
In a stunning historical account, Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin map the complex trajectory of the ideology and practice of the Black Panther Party. Going beyond merely chronicling what happened, the authors situate the rise and fall of the Panthers within the prevailing, and constantly shifting, political climate at home and abroad. Much has been written about the Party, but "Black against Empire" is "the" definitive history of the Panthersone that helps us rethink the very meaning of a revolutionary movement. Michael Omi, co-author of "Racial Formation in the United States"
As important as the Black Panthers were to the evolution of black power, the African American freedom struggle, and, indeed, the sixties as a whole, scholarship on the group has been surprisingly thin and all too often polemical. Certainly no definitive scholarly account of the Panthers has been produced to date, or rather "had" been produced to date. Bloom and Martin can now lay claim to that honor. This is, by a wide margin, the most detailed, analytically sophisticated, and balanced account of the organization yet written. Anyone who hopes to understand the group and its impact on American culture and politics will need to read this book. Doug McAdam, author of "Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970"
This is the book we ve all been waiting for: the first complete history of the Black Panther Party, devoid of the hype, the nonsense, the one-dimensional heroes and villains, the myths, or the tunnel vision that has limited scholarly and popular treatments across the ideological spectrum. Bloom and Martin s riveting, nuanced, and highly original account revises our understanding of the party s size, scope, ideology, and political complexity, and offers the most compelling explanations for its ebbs and flows and ultimate demise. Moreover, they reveal with spectacular clarity that the Party s primary target was not just police brutality or urban poverty or white supremacy but U.S. Empire in all of its manifestations. Robin D. G. Kelley, author of "Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination"
"Black against Empire" puts the Black Panthers in dialogue with the varieties of political unrest across the country. Through a fresh analytical framework that helps us understand the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s, Bloom and Martin make clear that the Panthers were not an aberration or figment of the popular imaginary. They were the vanguard among black people seeking a way out of nowhere. Jane Rhodes, author of "Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon"
The remarkable history of the Black Panther Partybattles with the police, its repression at the hands of the FBI, its breakfast-for-children and sickle-cell anemia programs, its ability to distribute 100,000 newspapers by hand each weekis in danger of being blotted from memory, or distorted to demonize them, while others try to preserve only a glorified legacy. This history by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin, based mainly on historical documents, is remarkable in the scope of its narrative and attention to detail. As one who lived through the Panther era, I believe this book should become a standard historical work for years to come. Tom Hayden, author of "The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama"
Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr., have written the first comprehensive political history of the Black Panther Party. They present an unvarnished, judicious treatment of a much revered, much maligned, and widely misunderstood revolutionary organization leading the charge for Black Power in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They provide persuasive answers to questions about the Party s rise and fall that others have failed to fully address. All other scholars will henceforth have to grapple with their substantial findings. General readers will find it compelling too. Tera Hunter, Professor of History and African American Studies, Princeton University
"An essential, deeply researched, and insightful studythe best so farof the complex history, inner workings, and conflicted legacy of the Black Panther Party as it waged its relentless battle for human rights and racial dignity in the streets of urban America. Leon F. Litwack, President, Organization of American Historians
Bloom and Martin bring to light an important chapter in American history. They carefully mine the archival data to give us an account of the rise of the Black Panther Party, of its successes and the shoals of American politics on which it fractured. In the process they give full credit to the strategic agency of the remarkable revolutionaries at the center of the story. Frances Fox Piven, President, American Sociological Association