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Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Cover

ISBN13: 9780896087712
ISBN10: 0896087719
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Should become mandatory reading for all police academy students.”—Damon Woodcock (Ret.), Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau

“A well-researched, historically grounded, and mordant critique of American policing past and present.”—Christian Parenti

Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what is the role of police in a democracy: to serve the public or to protect the powerful? Tracing the evolution of the modern police force back to the slave patrols, this controversial study observes the police as the armed defender of a violent status quo.

Kristian Williams is the author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination.


To protect and serve? A provocative history of America's most defining--and misunderstood--institution.

About the Author

Kristian Williams's writings have appeared in CounterPunch, Columbia Journalism Review, and We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism. A member of Rose City Copwatch in Portland, Oregon, Williams also authored Our Enemies in Blue (2004).

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Julia PDX, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Julia PDX)
This book is incredibly well-researched and clearly presented. Williams does a fabulous job of tracing the history of modern policing in the United States from the slave patrols to present day. Rich in detail and accessible in style, I would recommend "Our Enemies in Blue" to anyone interested in examining structural injustices in our system of policing, in making sense of negative experiences with the cops, and/or looking for a jumping off point for much needed change.

I learned more than a couple pieces of Oregon history regarding racism and the police that are too often forgotten.
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Julia PDX, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by Julia PDX)
This is my favorite nonfiction book! Williams combines thorough research and citation, accessible language, and coherent, critical thought to illuminate the history and function of modern policing. Towards the end of the book, he explores alternatives to police, leaving the reader with a more just framework for evaluating what it can mean for a community to "protect and serve" itself.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Susan Jacobson, December 26, 2009 (view all comments by Susan Jacobson)
an interesting look on policing in america
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Product Details

South End Press
Introduction by:
James, Joy
James, Joy
Williams, Kristian
Political Freedom & Security - Law Enforcement
General History
Violence in Society
Police -- United States.
Police misconduct -- United States.
Crime-Enforcement and Investigation
Edition Description:
Revised Edition
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.00 x 6.00 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » Enforcement and Investigation
History and Social Science » Sociology » Crime
History and Social Science » US History » General

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America
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$ In Stock
Product details 400 pages South End Press - English 9780896087712 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
To protect and serve? A provocative history of America's most defining--and misunderstood--institution.
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