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Contemporary Issues Forum: “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America"

11/10/15 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Eben Main

Ari Berman
Contributing writer for
The Nation Magazine
will be on campus
November 10th and 11th
as part of the Contemporary Issues Forum.

“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America”

Tuesday, November 10th
Eben Holden

Lecture, Q & A, and Book Signing

There have been countless books written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America tells this story for the first time.

In this groundbreaking narrative history, Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the Voting Rights Act and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit voting rights from 1965 to the present day. The act enfranchised millions of Americans and is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. And yet fifty years later we are still fighting heated battles over race, representation, and political power, with lawmakers devising new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth and the Supreme Court declaring a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

Berman brings the struggle over voting rights to life through meticulous archival research, in-depth interviews with key figures in the debate and incisive on-the-ground reporting. He vividly takes the reader from the demonstrations of the civil rights movement to the halls of Congress to the chambers of the Supreme Court. 

At this important historical moment, Give Us the Ballot provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC, C-Span and NPR. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, was published in August by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in October 2010 by FSG. He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and political science. He lives in New York City.