The little-known and under-studied 1807 Insurrection Act was passed to give the president the ability to deploy federal military forces to fend off lawlessness and rebellion, but it soon became much more than the sum of its parts. Its power is integrally linked to the perceived threat of black American equity.
A meditative history ... Throughout, Allan’s personal reflections and experiences add a depth and immediacy to the narrative that highlights the continued struggles of Black Americans to obtain and enjoy the rights of full citizenship many take for granted ... Allan’s prose seamlessly draws the personal and historical together in a book that general readers of U.S. history will find interesting and thought-provoking.
Incisive ... Allan weaves the perspectives of W.E.B. Du Bois, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and other key thinkers on racial justice issues with her own experiences ... Eloquently mixing history, autobiography, and philosophy, this powerful account sheds new light on the Black experience in America.
[Allan] provocatively but convincingly argues ... Though Allan sometimes strains to provide broad philosophical commentary on the existential topics she discusses and in framing historical events with personal responses to contemporary flashpoints, her explication of the act’s use and sociohistorical significance is consistently incisive and illuminating ... An insightful, cogent consideration of the history and persistence of conflicts over racial equality in America.