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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to "bad people" (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. 

In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

©2018 Robin DiAngelo (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“[T]houghtful, instructive, and comprehensive... This slim book is impressive in its scope and complexity; DiAngelo provides a powerful lens for examining, and practical tools for grappling with, racism today.” (Publishers Weekly)

“As a woman of color, I find hope in this book because of its potential to disrupt the patterns and relationships that have emerged out of long-standing colonial principles and beliefs. White Fragility is an essential tool toward authentic dialogue and action. May it be so!” (Shakti Butler, president of World Trust and director of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible)

“A rare and incisive examination of the system of white body supremacy that binds us all as Americans... With authenticity and clarity, she provides the antidote to white fragility and a road map for developing white racial stamina and humility. White Fragility loosens the bonds of white supremacy and binds us back together as human beings.” (Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands and Rock the Boat)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Every white person needs to read and re-read this book.

The topic isn’t easy.
Racism is hard to look in the face and see my reflection.
Read this book.
Seriously.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I’ve ever read.

This book should be part of all school curriculums! Could not recommend more, such a useful learning tool for white people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An absolute must-read

changed my entire world view & gave a way forward in our increasingly complex racist society.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

we have to talk about it

really interesting book on racism and whiteness, it hit the point to make me think about my own attitude, even if I always thought of myself as not a racist person. I know it's more complicated then that. I loved the audio book because I can learn while I'm keeping my hands busy at something else, but I though the voice was a bit " mechanical ".

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great meaningful content

Only feedback is the narration was a bit robotic. Didn’t know it was an actual person at first.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Such an important read. Was turned off at first that the author is white, but then realized that she’s incredibly knowledgeable on the subject and accepts accountability for her own racism - which I think is a crucial thing to be modeled to fellow whites - and then exemplifies how to change this behaviour. I’ve already recommended this book to many of my friends and family. And the narrator was excellent.

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Everyone needs to read this book!

Absolutely loved it. I do quite a bit in the Diversity and Inclusion and this was very well written. Hoping to encourage some white people to read it.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

"You are racist based on the color of your skin"

This book requires the reader to assume that to be white is to be racist. The reader must also ignore easily observable phenomena around them. If you were hoping for evidence based arguments, you won't find them here. 😢

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A timely and necessary work.

Required reading for anyone that considers themselves woke and seriously wants to understand and move beyond the social conditioning of white supremacy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-06

Good book but...

Overall, this was a good book but I have read all of the books Robin DiAngelo references in her book and she simply placed a white wrapper around the thoughts of these other authors, most of whom are authors of color. As a person of color in an extremely white workplace who is forced to navigate racism and white fragility on a daily basis, I see the value in presenting the work of a white person to my organization as a stepping stone to start the conversation. As a person of color, I am also deeply bothered by having to do so. In doing this, it actually feeds into the pitfalls and concerns DiAngelo discusses. I think this book is an excellent starting person for white people interested in delving into the topic. I would suggest people of color start with some of the reference books especially Bonilla-Silva’s Racism Without Racists and Ibram Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning.

135 of 146 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John Abdul-Masih
  • 2019-01-08

This book is not helpful.

I'm a person of color (although personally I don't care for that term) that read this in an attempt to understand current trends in the social justice movement.

While it did help me understand the viewpoints these people have, it did not convince me in any way that these views will be useful in the short or long term.

The author is openly okay with racial generalization as long as it's only for whites. This is dangerous territory, because if we say race generalization is ok, it'll be hard to argue that we cant use it in all cases. I can't imagine anyone would want to bear the burden for everything their race has done collectively.

Also, the author seems to imply that we could carry the baggage of our entire race into every social situation we enter. towards the end of the book an interview with a web developer is brought up, and the web dev gives the author a survey that she dismisses as boring. Since the web dev was black, her dismissal was racist per this book. Because she was white, her action is racist. I understand why she uses this definition of racism and all that, but is this honestly useful? I'd say no. It only collapses the spectrum of social interaction into group identity, and dilutes the seriousness that allegations of racism currently carry.

The author also never gives concrete examples. indeed she often gives examples that only apply in a narrow view. She'll give an analogy that misses or misrepresents part of the issue.

Finally, the author seems to have little ability to put herself in the shoes of others. She spends the first half of the book explaining how racism is seen as so bad and so taboo under the traditional definition that talking about it is difficult. then she's surprised that people called racist under a different definition freak out. her response is to call them fragile for that reaction. Is she actually surprised?

Overall this book does more harm than good. If someone came to me for help with racial relations I'd tell them to look anywhere else first.

Regarding the performance: The narrator could've easily been a text to speech program. Every word was read clearly and cleanly but it was so sterile that I had a hard time listening. Still better than blindsight though so 2 stars.

62 of 70 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TArnold
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • 2018-08-07

Read instead of listen

The woman who read the book sounded like the automated voice you get when you get stuck on hold with a major company. It was so dull and monotone that, had I not really wanted to hear what the author had to say, I would've returned the book very early on. Now that I've finished listening, I wonder how much of the meaning was lost on me because of my frustration with the choice of reader.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Louisa
  • 2018-11-01

Narration doesn't do justice to the important book

Anyone who seeks this book out understands the importance of the content. However I was so disappointed by the narrator. She sounded like the voice of a digital assistant. I ended up just buying the print book instead.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen Logusz
  • 2019-02-20

Terrible Reader Very Dissapointed

I couldn't even stand to start the book. The reader's voice is unbearable and I'm very dissapointed because it is such an important book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Webster
  • Westminster CO
  • 2019-02-28

Robot Narrator

I love this book but getting through it is like biting on tinfoil. The narrator sounds like an AI voice on an automatic phone menu at a bank. "For account information... choose... ONE!" So hard to listen to. I REALLY hope it gets re-released with a different voice artist. I know this is just an opinion and apologize to this narrator but her delivery was so weirdly flat and overly dramatic to my ear. Again- important content, I recommend highly... aside from the reader.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Chloe
  • 2019-03-02

Robotic emotionless reading! Just shoot me!

I don’t know if this was a joke or what? The robotic readers voice offers no help to follow the thread or story. The whole book sounded like a thousand staccato unrelated sentences. The only time I thought there was any emotion in her voice came off as sarcasm! This was awful I tried to listen to it twice and you just get so mad at her fake robotic privileged sounding voice!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • irequirepudding
  • San Francisco, CA
  • 2018-10-20

Great content, robotic reader voice

I recommend doing this one as a regular book—the narrator sounds like a robot, which makes it hard to hear. Though I can imagine the concept of white fragility might be so triggering for some people that they chose a robotic person to narrate. It’s a loss, because it makes it much harder to engage and retain the content.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Holmes-Murphy
  • 2018-08-09

REQUIRED READING

Hello! Please read this book if you feel the need to better yourself. I, as a adult black male, read this book as a way to help heighten my knowledge when faced with implicit racism. Me and a white customer of mine are always having race discussions and my knowledge now will help me better explain to him the false binary. Thanks to the author for the gained knowledge and insight.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MB13
  • 2019-05-09

Every white person needs to read this

This is one of the most important books of the decade. I’ve already recommended it to many friends. It sheds light on racism in ways I never thought about before.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful