[McGhee] ably moves through some of the largest infrastructural deficiencies in the U.S. and explains how a zero-sum mindset, combined with the constant plague of systemic racism, have led to fewer amenities for all ... McGhee’s anecdotes about the past read like cautionary parables for the future ... Supported by remarkable data-driven research and thoughtful interviews with those directly affected by these issues, McGhee paints a powerful picture of the societal shortfalls all around us. There is a greater, more just America available to us, and McGhee brings its potential to light.
... illuminating and hopeful ... [McGhee] appeals to concrete self-interest in order to show how our fortunes are tied up with the fortunes of others ... She is compassionate but also cleareyed, refusing to downplay the horrors of racism, even if her own book suggests that the white readers she’s trying to reach can be easily triggered into seeking the safe space of white identity politics ... Against 'zero-sum' she proposes 'win-win' — without fully addressing how the ideal of win-win has been deployed for cynical ends ... There is a striking clarity to this book; there is also a depth of kindness in it that all but the most churlish readers will find moving. She explains in exacting detail how racism causes white people to suffer. Still, I couldn’t help thinking back to the abolitionist Helper, who knew full well how slavery caused white people to suffer, but remained an unrepentant racist to the end.
McGhee offers a mountain range of evidence ... McGhee’s book is required reading, a true work of courage and intellectual rigor. Readers have likely asked: Why is this so hard for a country that has so much? By unearthing and exposing the faulty why, McGhee illuminates the path to actual change.