Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Kill Zones to the Courtroom

Connie Rice, Author
Connie Rice. Scribner, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7500-9
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 01/10/2012
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4516-2592-9
Paperback - 369 pages - 978-1-4165-4473-9
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Rice, a civil rights lawyer (and cousin of Condoleezza) describes her strange and remarkable journey from prosecuting important civil rights cases and suing the LAPD for civil rights violations to allying with “good cops” to fight rampant violence in neighborhoods where “guns and gangs ruled, not civil rights.” She is surprisingly open and insightful about herself as well as about the workings of the virtually impregnable institutions she challenges. The most interesting part of her account, and the most visceral and difficult to read, is the inner workings of L.A. gangs: Rice describes shocking details of violence, abuse, and dysfunction. Her descriptions of the intransigence and institutional flaws of the LAPD are almost equally disheartening. There are flashes of progress to be optimistic about, and Rice’s own powerful voice when attacking the myriad problems that poverty and neglect cause for children, cities, and the nation. Readers will be appalled by the evils Rice fights, but astounded by the energy and intelligence she brings to the battle. Agent: Mary Evans. (Jan.)
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