What the Hell Do You Have to Lose? is directed toward the general reader. Although parts of the book are of interest, Williams covers familiar territory, and several of the long biographical sections come across as, well, padding. Those who wish to learn more about the struggles and achievements of African Americans over the past half-century will be disappointed, and any concerned citizen who reads a newspaper or watches cable is well aware of Trump’s almost daily outbursts concerning racial matters. Williams’s topic is certainly timely, but the book promises more than it delivers.
Williams, currently a columnist at The Hill provides detailed answers to Trump’s question regarding six different realms of government discrimination against African-Americans, using the Civil Rights Act as approved by Congress in 1964 as his guide for selecting those elements ... In each area, the author documents the dreadful early record of the Trump administration, followed by a succinct history of the civil rights gains made against stiff opposition during the second half of the 20th century ... As he ends this relevant and well-grounded book, Williams tells Trump that African-Americans have 'a lot' to lose, 'far more, it appears, than [Trump] will ever know.'
In Juan Williams’ What the Hell Do You Have to Lose? , the political analyst sets out to answer Trump’s campaign trail question and to demonstrate the tangible threat that Trump’s presidency poses to black Americans. Williams handily accomplishes this aim, reconstructing with clean, engaging prose the stories of some of history’s least recognized civil rights heroes, juxtaposed against the ways that Trump has challenged their legacies. In the book...Williams chronicles the American black community’s long, hard-fought battle for civil rights, focusing on the period between the end of slavery and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He reconstructs the stories of some of history’s most tireless — albeit least recognized — heroes ... Their stories are told in intimate, devastating detail, painting a picture of personal sacrifice for the benefit of societal progress.