New Book by Cook Center Associate Director Robert Korstad.

About the Book

America is at war with itself over the right to vote, or, more precisely, over the question of who gets to exercise that right and under what circumstances. North Carolina is a battleground for this debate, and its history can help us understand why – a century and a half after ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment – we remain a nation divided on the issue of free and fair elections.

Fragile Democracy tells the story of race and voting rights, from the end of the Civil War until the present day. It shows that struggles over the franchise have played out through cycles of emancipatory politics and conservative retrenchment. When race has been used as an instrument of exclusion from political life, the result has been a society in which vast numbers of Americans are denied the elements of meaningful freedom: a good job, a good education, good health, and a good home. This history points to the need for a bold new vision of what democracy looks like.

Read more here.