AMERICA WHAT WERE YOU THINKING: Emancipating 3,053,761 enslaved Africans and African Americans and then Leaving them to live in the same general population alongside their former enslavers, overseers, drivers, and various other proponents of slavery in the hopes that everyone could all just let bygones be bygones. How has that worked out for you?

The melting pot experiment is the largest social experiment in the history of civilization with 330,417,701 (and counting), voluntary and involuntary participants. However, beyond the long, winding, and provocative title, this book is at its core, simply a glass half-empty or glass half-full proposition. Was the melting pot an experiment that went horribly wrong? Riddled from its inception with flaws that can never truly be repaired. Its people suffering from wounds that will never completely heal. Or is it the experiment not only salvageable but proceeding according to its intended design? Capable of one day epitomizing the veritable term melting pot.

Genre: Politics, Society & Education

Number of Pages: 334 pages

Date of Publication: 17/12/2020


This book has been written by Terry Deadrick-Leonard

Published by Cartelyou & Desoto


I want to start this review by saying that I read all type of books as I love reading. This book with its enormous fifty three word title and extensive reference section is a departure from the young adult and children’s books I usually feature. When the author approached me to make a review I was a little unsure as this book was clearly outside my comfort zone but I am a firm believer in the importance of books to spread ideas and understanding as well as to entertain and the subject was clearly important and very interesting.

This review is about the book and not my political views or what I think about the topics which are spoken about in the book. I want to give you a glimpse of what the book is about more than about my personal opinions.

Some of the topics that this book addresses are, social changes, economics, politics, religion, sports and emigrations or immigration and each of these sections contain detailed research with full citations and are surprisingly very easy to read and to follow.

The book starts with a definition of America as a nation. It also focuses on the topic of people of color receiving harsher punishments for similar crimes as white people. This is a topic that has been spoken about worldwide but this book focuses on America and how this country has throughout the years implemented laws and civil rights which attempt to create some tolerance.

While the themes and topics that this book covers might make you expect this book to sound like a dry textbook or paper published in an academic journal the author avoided this through the use of extremely colourful language and some rather poetic metaphors such as in the opening pages describing the founding and development of the United States and its racial tensions as a new-born’s developing heart where the heartbeat can be detected even in the developing cells. Depending on your tastes in ‘flowery’ language this style will either supply enough entertainment to keep you engaged as the topics are developed and discussed or add another layer of complexity to an already complicated subject matter.

In conclusion this is a book that you could really enjoy either for its style or ideas but that you might also dislike again due to its style or ideas. Regardless of whether you find the work ‘enjoyable’ the ideas explored are important and well researched. There are a lot of topics that are discussed in the book so it is unlikely that anyone could read it without a deepening or challenging of at least some of the ideas that they have. As a recently released book its examination of racial tension in America is very up to date including mention of Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem and reference to the policy and behaviour of the ‘forty fifth president’ who the author seems to wish to avoid naming out loud (I assume for the same reasons nobody wanted to say Voldemort).

Availability: The book is available in all good bookshops including Blackwell’s

Thank you so much Terry Deadrick-Leonard for my copy of the book.

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