A comprehensive, authoritative, and nuanced look at how the Black Panther Party was born, the nature of its methods and politics, and the many forces that caused it to unravel. Bloom and Martin look thoughtfully and critically at the party’s many controversial actions—from arming their communities to free breakfast programs for school children—as well as the concerted effort by state actors to malign and dismantle the black liberation movement. The book forcefully demonstrates that the politics of the party played an enormous and often unspoken role in advancing civil rights and providing a framework for moving beyond civil rights to true freedom—including full employment, decent housing, education, and an end to police brutality. The history here is astonishing in large part because so much effort has been made to obscure it. Useful for understanding the past as well as the present and ongoing struggle for freedom.