Birth of a Nation'hood

Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O. J. Simpson Case

by Toni Morrison

Co-edited and introduced by Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Birth of a Nation'hood elucidates as never before the grim miasma of the O.J. Simpson case, which has elicited gargantuan fascination.

As they pertain to the scandal, the issues of race, sex, violence, money, and the media are refracted through twelve powerful essays that have been written especially for this book by distinguished intellectuals--black and white, male and female. Together these keen analyses of a defining American moment cast a chilling gaze on the script and spectacle of the insidious tensions that rend our society, even as they ponder the proper historical, cultural, political, legal, psychological, and linguistic ramifications of the affair.

With contributions by:
Toni Morrison, George Lipsitz, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., with Aderson Bellegarde Francois and Linda Y. Yueh, Nikol G. Alexander and Drucilla Cornell, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Ishmael Reed, Leola Johnson and David Roediger, Andrew Ross, Patricia J. Williams, Ann duCille, Armond White, Claudia Brodsky Lacour

  • Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; August 2010
  • ISBN: 9780307482266
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Birth of a Nation'hood
  • Author: Toni Morrison
  • Imprint: Pantheon

In The Press

“[T]hese 11 eloquent essays, by academics and writers from various backgrounds, offer thoughtful, sometimes brilliant insights on the cultural fractures that the trial and its media frenzy both spotlighted and distorted. Standout pieces . . . redeem the complex human issues behind the button-pushing hype.”
—Entertainment Weekly


About The Author

TONI MORRISON is the author of ten novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to A Mercy (2008). She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in New York.

With contributions by:
Toni Morrison
George Lipsitz
A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., with Aderson Bellegarde Francois and Linda Y. Yueh
Nikol G. Alexander and Drucilla Cornell
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
Ishmael Reed
Leola Johnson and David Roediger
Andrew Ross
Patricia J. Williams
Ann duCille
Armond White
Claudia Brodsky Lacour