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The incredible story of the death of Eric Garner, the birth of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement and the new faultlines of race, protest, policing and the power of the people

‘A brilliant work of narrative nonfiction’ Booklist
‘Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power’Bernie Sanders
‘A searing exposé’ Kirkus Review
Taibbi may be the only political writer in America that matters’ Hartford Advocate


The incredible story of the death of Eric Garner, the birth of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement and the new fault lines of race, protest, policing and the power of the people.

On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died in New York after a police officer put him in a "chokehold" during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. The final moments of his life were captured on video and seen by millions – his agonised last words, “I can’t breathe,” becoming a rallying cry for the nascent Black Lives Matter protest movement.

Matt Taibbi, bestselling author and “the best polemic journalist in America”, tells the full story of the man who inspired a movement – neither villain nor victim, but a fiercely proud individual determined to do the best he could for his family. Featuring vivid vignettes of life on the street, this powerful narrative of urban America is a riveting work of literary journalism and a scathing indictment of law enforcement in the twenty-first century. I Can’t Breathe tells the story of one man to tell the story of countless others, and the power of people to rise up against injustice.

Reviews

One of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism

Independent

Marries the best instincts of explanatory narrative journalism with uncompromising moral clarity ... a vital account of police violence. Taibbi, through thorough reporting and captivating writing, captures the totality of an American tragedy

Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of THEY CAN'T KILL US ALL: THE STORY OF BLACK LIVES MATTER

Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in America who speaks truth to power

Bernie Sanders

[A] brilliant work of narrative nonfiction ... a necessary and riveting work

Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)

Matt Taibbi is the best polemic journalist in America

Felix Salmon

Matt Taibbi is [Hunter S.] Thompson’s heir. . .

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Taibbi may be the only political writer in America that matters

Hartford Advocate

Richly reported and evocative ... The result here is a vivid folk history that should prove useful to anyone who seeks to understand the world Eric Garner inhabited

Jill Leovy, bestselling author of GHETTOSIDE

[A] searing exposé … what emerges from the author's superb reporting and vivid writing is a tragically revealing look at a broken criminal justice system

Kirkus Review (STARRED REVIEW)

A complex and textured examination of the complicated personalities, flawed legal system, and politics revolving around the police killing of 43-year-old Eric Garner, whose final words became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Boston Globe

What Matt Taibbi does most beautifully, most necessarily, is he gives Eric Garner that thing the police who choked him to death that day -- and much of the media as well -- denied this man: His humanity. Through impeccable reporting, Taibbi reveals to us, finally, Eric Garner the man, the father, the lover, the friend.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, award-winning correspondent, The New York Times Magazine

An engrossing and provocative exploration of the many people, systems, and forces that helped to kill Eric Garner and all those who struggled in vain for justice to be done

Michelle Alexander, bestselling author of THE NEW JIM CROW

A must-read for anyone interested in what gets excused in the name of 'law and order' ... an insightful, important account

Library Journal

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780753548660

    November 13, 2017

    WH Allen

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780753548684

    November 15, 2017

    WH Allen

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780753548677

    October 26, 2017

    Virgin Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Matt Taibbi

Insane Clown President
The Divide: American injustice in the age of the wealth gap
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con that is Breaking America

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