In this intelligent and valuable book, Randall Kennedy strips away the myth and legend surrounding the N-word. With honesty and a true sense of justice, Kennedy explores the origin of the word, from latin via slavery, to contemporary usage. He expertly describes its place in the American legal system and case law. Presenting a balanced view of legal decisions and place of the N-word in US history, whilst maintaining the dignity of the African American experience. Everyone should read this fascinating book.