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Poet and Atlantic staff writer Clint Smith’s first major work of nonfiction—an immediate bestseller—offers a critical look at the ways in which the U.S. erases, distorts and commodifies its history of enslavement. Smith travels the country, weaving in his personal history as he visits historical sites and modern memorials and ruminating on the effects of this dark legacy. Smith forces us to ask: How does our perception of the past inform our national identity and, especially, the treatment of Black Americans?

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