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** UNCORRECTED PROOF **
‘An illuminating portrait of Baltimore … Readers will be enthralled’ Publishers Weekly
A kaleidoscopic account of five days in the life of a city on the edge, told through eight characters on the front lines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the world.
When Freddie Gray was arrested for possessing an ‘illegal knife’ in April 2015, he was, by eyewitness accounts that video evidence later confirmed, treated ‘roughly’ as police loaded him into a vehicle. By the end of his trip in the police van, Gray was in a coma from which he would never recover.
In the wake of a long history of police abuse in Baltimore, this killing felt like the final straw – it led to a week of protests empowered by the Black Lives Matter movement, then five days described alternately as a riot or an uprising.
New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore tells the story of the five days through his own observations and through the eyes of other Baltimoreans: Partee, a conflicted black captain of the Baltimore Police Department; Jenny, a young white public defender who’s drawn into the violent centre of the uprising herself; Tawanda, a young black woman who’d spent a lonely year protesting the killing of her own brother by police; and John Angelos, scion of the city’s most powerful family and executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, who had to make choices of conscience he’d never before confronted.
Each shifting point of view contributes to an engrossing, cacophonous account of a moment in history with striking resemblances to far more recent events, which is also an essential cri de coeur about the deeper causes of the violence and the small seeds of hope planted in its aftermath.