Virtual Event: Adam Serwer

presenting

The Cruelty Is the Point:
The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America

in conversation with IBRAM X. KENDI

Date

Jul
19
Monday
July 19, 2021
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join this virtual event by purchasing a ticket through Eventbrite

Tickets

$33.25 (book included) - On Sale Now $5.00 (admission & $5 coupon included) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning journalist and Atlantic staff writer ADAM SERWER for a discussion of his highly anticipated book, The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump's America. He will be joined in conversation by celebrated writer, professor, and antiracist activist IBRAM X. KENDI, author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist. This event is co-presented by our bookseller partners Politics and Prose, Books & Books, and Community Bookstore. 

Ticketing

There are two ticket options available for this event.

Admission Ticket - $33.25: Includes one admission link and one copy of The Cruelty Is the Point. US shipping also included. Books will be shipped to ticket-holders following the event. Please note: we are unable to ship internationally.

Admission Ticket - $5.00: Includes one admission link and a $5 coupon toward a purchase on harvard.com, emailed to you following the event.



 

About The Cruelty Is the Point

“Trump summoned the most treacherous forces in American history and conducted them with the ease of a grand maestro.”

Like many of us, Adam Serwer didn’t know that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election. But over the four years that followed, the Atlantic staff writer became one of our most astute analysts of the Trump presidency and the volatile powers it harnessed. The shock that greeted Trump’s victory, and the subsequent cruelty of his presidency, represented a failure to confront elements of the American past long thought vanquished. 

In this searing collection, Serwer chronicles the Trump administration not as an aberration but as an outgrowth of the inequalities the United States was founded on. Serwer is less interested in the presidential spectacle than in the ideological and structural currents behind Trump’s rise—including a media that was often blindsided by the ugly realities of what the administration represented and how it came to be. 

While deeply engaged with the moment, Serwer’s writing is also haunted by ghosts of an unresolved American past, a past that torments the present. In bracing new essays and previously published works, he explores white nationalism, myths about migration, the political power of police unions, and the many faces of anti-Semitism. For all the dynamics he examines, cruelty is the glue, the binding agent of a movement fueled by fear and exclusion. Serwer argues that rather than pretending these four years didn’t happen or dismissing them as a brief moment of madness, we must face what made them possible. Without acknowledging and confronting these toxic legacies, the fragile dream of American multiracial democracy will remain vulnerable to another ambitious demagogue.

Praise for The Cruelty Is the Point

“Serwer’s writing has been indispensable to understanding the chaotic world around us. Incisive, elegant, and deeply anchored in history, The Cruelty Is the Point is an essential guide to a perilous time in American life.” —Jelani Cobb, New Yorker contributor and author of The Substance of Hope

“Adam Server is the most incisive political writer of our time.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

“The essays in The Cruelty Is the Point combine an unsparing accounting of our history with an astute examination of our present.” —Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of They Can’t Kill Us All

Adam Serwer
Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer has written for the Atlantic since 2016, focusing on contemporary politics while often viewing it through the lens of history. Serwer was a Spring Fellow at the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as well as the Ira Lipman Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism. He is the recipient of the 2019 Hillman Prize for opinion journalism. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his family.

Photo Credit: Shorenstein Center, Harvard University

Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Dr. Kendi is the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He had also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Photo Credit: Stephen Voss




Join this virtual event by purchasing a ticket through Eventbrite
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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