Carol Anderson’s White Rage ought not to exist: it’s a straightforward, brisk telling that would serve little purpose if Americans were better informed about their history. That is, of course, the point. Anderson traces the repeated push and pull of black advancement and the white response that sought to defeat it, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act. The book’s power lies in it’s efficiency: Anderson wastes no space in connecting each step forward with the fierce and violent step back. As useful for understanding the past as for planning the days ahead.