Brave, clear-eyed, and passionate, the book we need to guide us past crisis mode and through an uncertain future
Winner of the 2020 Nonfiction Kirkus Prize

Product Code: 8414
ISBN: 9781568588735
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Bold Type Books
Pages: 208
Published Date: 09/15/2020
Availability:In stock
Price: $26.00

Winner of the 2020 Nonfiction Kirkus Prize

The events of the past decade have forced us to reckon with who we are and who we want to be. We have been invested in a set of beliefs about our American identity: our exceptionalism, the inevitable rightness of our path, the promise that hard work and determination will carry us to freedom. But in Stakes Is High, Mychal Denzel Smith confronts the shortcomings of these stories - and with the American Dream itself - and calls on us to live up to the principles we profess but fail to realize.

In a series of incisive essays, Smith exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We’ve gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence of institutional oppression are ever-present.

There is a future that is not as grim as our past. In this profound work, Smith helps us envision it with care, honesty, and imagination.

Bookmark and Share

The Forethought
Part 1 Delusions
Part 2 Justice
Part 3 Accountability
Part 4 Freedom
The Afterthought


"[Smith] is sharply self-aware, and he would seem to expect his reader to approach his fine-honed argument with the same seriousness. Doing so is well worth the effort. An urgent and provocative work that deserves the broadest possible audience." - Kirkus Reviews, starred

"Slim, impactful....Stakes Is High is a polemic in the best sense of the word, holding up a mirror to America in the hope that a clear-eyed glimpse of its failings will assist in the never-ending struggle to bring about the righteous nation it has always aspired to be." - Booklist, starred

"A clear-eyed and down-to-earth analysis of the broken foundation of the American Dream and how our culture can move past it....As the book's title and its author suggest: the stakes are high." - TheGrio

Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item

You might also be interested in: