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About the BookIn his timely debut novel, David S. Mitchell grants the reader unprecedented access to the provocative world of code-switching African-American Ivy Leaguers and the dark underbelly of Southern race politics as seen through the eyes of an erudite and incorrigible law student-turned US Senate campaign aide named Al Carpenter.
In politics, as in life and love, victory and defeat aren't always easy to differentiate.
In his timely debut novel, David S. Mitchell grants the reader unprecedented access to the provocative world of code-switching African-American Ivy Leaguers and the dark underbelly of Southern race politics as seen through the eyes of Al Carpenter. Al, an erudite and incorrigible law student, struggles to square the hopeful outcome of President Obama's 2008 election with the prospect that many Americans don't actually want the change they clamored for.
When he arrives in North Carolina to assume a senior position with a cash-strapped US Senate campaign, Al faces swift and unexpected resistance to African-American attorney Ron Johnson's candidacy. By navigating the thorny maze of Tar Heel State politics and grappling with personal growing pains, Al finally learns to play the game. But can he change the game, or will the game change him?
"In this smart, sharply written first novel, David S. Mitchell captures the idealism and frustration of trying to turn Obama's promise of hope and change from a moment into a movement. His ear for politics, race, and how the two intersect in a Southern Senate campaign is pitch perfect. Although fiction, We Hold These Truths is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how political campaigns can give wings to hope or crush it, and sometimes both." - Bruce H. Mann, Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
"There are some great political novels that have been written in this country, but not many . . . there are just a handful that I think are really great and cut to the heart of a moment and maybe a nation . . . I think this is one of those novels." - Timothy B. Tyson, The Blood of Emmett Till
"In his astute tale, Mitchell knowledgeably captures not only the internecine conflict that occurs within a party, but also the volatile mix of excitement and skepticism that followed Obama's election victory . . . An intelligent and bracingly honest look at the possibility of a post-racial America." - Kirkus Reviews