Advanced Search Your Shopping Bag

Our Enemies in Blue

Police and Power in America (Revised Edition)

Kristian Williams

Pages: 350
ISBN: 978-0-89608-771-2
Release Date: 2007-08-01

Purchase for $26.00

Description of Our Enemies in Blue.

Please note: we are currently experiencing difficulty with our website order form. To order this or any other South End Press title, please email us your telephone number and the title(s) you wish to order at southend@southendpress.org. Thank you for your patience and support as we address this!

“Should become mandatory reading for all police academy students.”—Damon Woodcock (Ret.), Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau

“A well-researched, historically grounded, and mordant critique of American policing past and present.”—Christian Parenti

Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what is the role of police in a democracy: to serve the public or to protect the powerful? Tracing the evolution of the modern police force back to the slave patrols, this controversial study observes the police as the armed defender of a violent status quo.

Written for both the lay reader and for scholars, Our Enemies in Blue demonstrates that police misconduct isn’t just a matter of “bad apples,” but a function of the very nature of policing in the US. Williams examines the populations most often subjected to police abuse and the forms that abuse takes, delving into the role of police brutality in repressing political dissent and in preserving existing structures of inequality.

Kristian Williams is also the author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination (South End Press, 2006).

Table of Contents

Introduction: by Joy James

Author's Preface, 2007


Chapter 1: Police Brutality in Theory and in Practice

Chapter 2: The Origins of American Policing

Chapter 3: The Genesis of a Policed Society

Chapter 4: Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand

Chapter 5: The Natural Enemy of the Working Class

Chapter 6: Police Autonomy and Blue Power

Chapter 7: Secret Police, Red Squads, and the Strategy of Permanent Repression

Chapter 8: Riot Police or Police Riots?

Chapter 9: Your Friendly Neighborhood Police State


Afterword: Making Police Obsolete

Read more