Alchemy of Race and Rights

Alchemy of Race and Rights Patricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law the great great granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical ess

  • Title: Alchemy of Race and Rights
  • Author: Patricia J. Williams
  • ISBN: 9780674014718
  • Page: 112
  • Format: Paperback
  • Patricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law, the great great granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical essay in which the author reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class Using the tools of critical literary and legal theory, she sets out her views of contemporaryPatricia Williams is a lawyer and a professor of commercial law, the great great granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer The Alchemy of Race and Rights is an eloquent autobiographical essay in which the author reflects on the intersection of race, gender, and class Using the tools of critical literary and legal theory, she sets out her views of contemporary popular culture and current events, from Howard Beach to homelessness, from Tawana Brawley to the law school classrom, from civil rights to Oprah Winfrey, from Bernhard Goetz to Marth Beth Whitehead She also traces the workings of ordinary racism everyday occurrences, casual, unintended, banal perhaps, but mortifying Taking up the metaphor of alchemy, Williams casts the law as a mythological text in which the powers of commerce and the Constitution, wealth and poverty, sanity and insanity, wage war across complex and overlapping boundaries of discourse In deliberately transgressing such boundaries, she pursues a path toward racial justice that is, ultimately, transformative Williams gets to the roots of racism not by fingerpointing but by much gentler methods Her book is full of anecdote and witness, vivid characters known and observed, trenchant analysis of the law s shortcomings Only by such an inquiry and such patient phenomenology can we understand racism The book is deeply moving and not so, finally, just because racism is wrong we all know that What we don t know is how to unthink the process that allows racism to persist This Williams enables us to see The result is a testament of considerable beauty, a triumph of moral tactfulness The result, as the title suggests, is magic.

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      Published :2019-09-04T08:32:04+00:00

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  • Patricia J. Williams

    Patricia J. Williams Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Alchemy of Race and Rights book, this is one of the most wanted Patricia J. Williams author readers around the world.

  • 549 Comments

  • Strong discussion against objectivity of race in legal arguments. Williams explores the power of language and context in law through personal experience and knowledge."What is “impersonal” writing but denial of self? If withholding is an ideology worth teaching, we should be clearer about that as the bottom line of the enterprise. We should also acknowledge the extent to which denial of one’s authority in authorship is not the same as elimination of oneself; it is ruse, not reality. And th [...]


  • I've read and re-read this book a million times just finished re-reading it what can I say besides that Pat Williams is a genius? Her anecdotes connect legal theory with practice, and in a broader sense, she is able to concretely relay what it means to be a person-of-color navigating through a network of elite, WASP communities and institutions. Also, she's one of my professors at the moment, so I can say with complete confidence that she is brilliant and equally humble.


  • in the midst of law school, some 18 years ago, i read this book. it made me feel less alone in that oft alienating environment. it reminded me why i was there and why i was doing what i was doing. patricia williams is brilliant!


  • I learned that the deeply nuanced complexity of racial identity can drive an intelligent person mad, if she lets it. A worthwhile read.


  • Brilliantly written. I read a few times. Professor Patricia Williams is vibrant and through her personal experience and depth of her research I saw much of my own. One of the best in the intersectionality of law and race. Do read it. it takes 5 stars but I wish I had more to give!


  • I honestly love her manipulation of prose to convey legal jargon in a manner that is not off putting but instead very inviting for those who might not be familiar with heavy concepts related to this country's racial relationship to the formation of laws and how they are carried out in a modern context. It was breathtaking to see the personal interwoven with legal theory, I was honestly unsure of if I would like this book because I thought it would be weighted down by inaccessible language and co [...]


  • I can't speak about Williams' ideas because her overly-affected, wouldbe-poet style obscures any real thought. No wonder this book cost me only $.50.



  • Moving, expressive -- both emotionally and intellectually. The style meshes cohesively with the subtext, which probably makes it so effective. Does get a little one-note. Otherwise this would've been 5 stars.



  • Wherein a law professor meditates on being the object of property. I read portions of this in law school. I’m glad I did. It is, to no small extent, a critical reflection on being The Other in the academy. The author was one of the first African American professors at Harvard and she was very much alone. Among the things that reinforced her aloneness were gratuitously racist factual scenarios on exams. E.g. 84 (what are “the tax implications for Kunta Kinte’s master when the slavecatchers [...]


  • This book is a glimpse into what is missing from law. Ideas of justice are absent is most applications of the law, especially regarding women, children, people of color, queer folks and prisoners. Weaving personal narrative and story-telling into an examination in legal theory, Williams accurately captures a picture of what we need for a more restorative form of justice. What I find difficult, not only in reading this but other CLS/CRS works, is how do we move towards a better application of law [...]


  • The most inspiring book for lawyers who went into the profession as idealists and now wonder what the hell they're doing. Law is a powerful field, but the sheer force of its conservatism (i.e. love of status quo) can make it a difficult career choice for activists and agents of social change. Patricia Williams, in her scholarly but oh-so-approachable style, illuminates both the promise of law and its failures. She is not a cynic. She is not a "realist" (one who opts to "take life as it comes"). [...]


  • After James Baldwin and before Ta-Nehisi Coates there was Patricia Williams, a lawyer and professor of commercial law, the great-great-granddaughter of a slave and a white southern lawyer. The Alchemy of Race and Rights is a fascinating and beautifully written autobiographical essay about her experiences with the intersections of race, gender, and class. She looks at some current events of the late eighties and early nineties, such as Howard Beach, Tawana Brawley, and Bernhard Goetz. She writes [...]


  • I love the anecdotes of this book, the easy and compelling glimpse it gives into modern racism. Society has a tendency to dismiss current racism as it is somewhat veiled in comparison to the formalized and legalized racism of our not-so-distant past. This book sweeps away the curtain. My only complaint is that sometimes I got lost in Patricia William's baroque language, but I found the book fascinating, and I wished that we had this take on some famous constitutional law cases when I took the cl [...]


  • I first read this book as an earnest, politically-correcting-myself undergrad, but took another look as a post-grad cynic and was blown away yet again. It's not so much her arguments, which are familiar, as her rhetorical style, which is, simply, mad. And brilliantly so. She is an utterly unique writer, and while her baroque language and often counter-intuitive argumentation tend to read in her later work as incoherence, here she pulls it off. Worth checking out especially for her chapter on the [...]


  • This is a simply superb collection of essays Columbia University law prof and columnist for The Nation who brings the well trained eye of a Critical Legal Theorist to the social and political struggles of the contemporary USA. She has an astounding ability to blend legal thinking, literary theory and historical analysis with everyday politics and life.


  • I absolutely loved this book, and I don't care if that makes me a raving, feminist wellesley-graduating cliche. I've heard that she is less pissed off in some of her later books, but I just dig this one. Get mad!


  • Patricia Williams has a way of weaving real-life stories together with a cogent theoretical analyses in a way that is both compelling and enlightening. This is a brilliant book.




  • Excellent biographical novel interspersed with thoughts, ideas, and reflections. I have read and reread this book coming up with more understandings of myself and my place in life.


  • Some people might strongly dislike this book but I loved it. I love the way the author makes you feel her own frustration over the narrative. It's so amazing and so creative.


  • possibly the only nonfiction that is on my top shelf. patricia williams is amazing. everyone should read everything she has ever written.




  • When I was done reading this book, for a hot second, I was convinced I needed to go to law school. But only for a hot second. The political IS personal.


  • This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's also, I believe, one of the most important, especially now, when a lot of (white) people's eyes are being opened to systemic racism in this country.



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