The Racist History and Political Ends of Taking Children
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
Laura Briggs’s Taking Children: A History of American Terror (University of California Press 2020) is a forceful and captivating book that readers won’t be able to put down, and that listeners from all sort of backgrounds will definitely want to hear more about. Weaving together histories of Black communities (in the US and the Americas more broadly), Native Americans, and multiple Latin American countries, Briggs tells us how taking of children has been used as a strategy to terrorize communities that demand social justice and change.
This book, timely as no other, asks readers to question the narrative that portrays taking children as something that is done in the benefit of the child, and instead to see it as a strategy that seeks to control and dominate communities that are deemed dangerous to the social order.
Laura Briggs is Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump; Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption; and Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico.