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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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I Can't Breathe
A Killing on Bay Street
By (author): Matt Taibbi
9780812988857 Paperback, Trade English General Trade SOCIAL SCIENCE / Poverty & Homelessness Sep 04, 2018
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.7 in 336 pages Spiegel & Grau
An exploration into the roots and aftermath of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the police in a work of riveting literary journalism from the bestselling author of The Divide.

On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after a police officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold during an arrest for selling “loosies,” or single cigarettes. The final moments of his life were captured on video and seen by millions, sparking a nationwide series of protests that built into the Black Lives Matter movement that has transformed American politics.

Weeks after Garner’s death, two New York City police officers were killed by a young black man from Maryland, in what he claimed was revenge for Garner’s death. Those killings in turn led to police protests, clashes with New York’s new liberal mayor, and an eventual work slow-down.

Taibbi tells a compelling story of the crime, the grand jury, the media circus, the murder of the police, and the protests from every side.

Story Locale: New York City

Publication History: Spiegel & Grau HC (10/17)

STELLAR HARDCOVER PUBLICITY: From NPR’s All Things Considered and Fresh Air; to coverage in USA Today, Rolling Stone and the Christian Science Monitor; to interviews on MSNBCs Chris Hayes and PBS’s Newshour; a full east coast tour, reaching four cities; to interviews in places like The Millions, Quartz, Buzzfeed, Nylon and more, the hardcover reached all angles.

INFAMOUS, INFLUENTIAL CASE: The death of Eric Garner drew national media attention in 2014 and Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry in the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

NEWLY DISCOVERED DETAILS: His reporting breaks new ground and offers new information—about both Garner and the police.

Explores issues around policing, incarceration, the underground economy, gentrification, and race in urban America. This is A MASTERFUL NARRATIVE OF URBAN AMERICA and a brilliant examination of the purpose and perversion of American policing.

MAJOR ISSUE, IMPORTANT CONVERSATION: Taibbi’s The Divide took on the issue of wealth inequality in America and its far-reaching consequences for our justice system. In this new book, Taibbi drills down into a single case that vividly dramatizes the idea that our criminal justice system is egregiously out of whack when it comes to race and class.

MAJOR PLATFORMS IN MAINSTREAM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: Taibbi remains the star writer of Rolling Stone and a fixture in the national media. His blog posts for Rolling Stone are more popular than ever and he is active on Twitter.

MATT TAIBBI, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Divide, Griftopia, and The Great Derangement, is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2007 National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: Boston

Marketing: Online marketing outreach

Social media campaign

Random House e-newsletters and websites



Publicity: New in paperback



Author Website: bit.ly/1PJ556D

Author Social Media: TW twitter.com/mtaibbi

“A complex and textured examination of the complicated personalities, flawed legal system, and politics revolving around the police killing of forty-three-year-old Eric Garner, whose final words became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.”The Boston Globe, “Must Read Books for the Fall”

“[A] brilliant work of narrative nonfiction…[Matt] Taibbi is unsparing is his excoriation of the system, police, and courts that led to the fatal choke hold and worked to blur the abuse afterward…. This is a necessary and riveting work.”Booklist (starred review)

“[A] searing exposé…After deeply exploring Garner’s life from a variety of perspectives, Taibbi offers detailed reporting about the out-of-control Staten Island police officers present at the death scene…[and]  the futile efforts of the Garner family to achieve posthumous justice…. What emerges from the author’s superb reporting and vivid writing is a tragically revealing look at a broken criminal justice system geared to serve white citizens while often overlooking or ignoring the rights of others.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Matt Taibbi’s I Can’t Breathe marries the best instincts of explanatory narrative journalism with uncompromising moral clarity. The result is a riveting walk through decades of policing policy and big city politics that culminated, seemingly inevitably, in Eric Garner’s killing by the New York Police Department. While he may have set out to document a fatal injustice, the tale Taibbi tells is not one of a death, but one of a life. In capturing the fullness of Garner’s ‘imperfect humanity,’ I Can’t Breathe adds a vital account of police violence and a vivid exploration of its lingering costs. Taibbi, through thorough reporting and captivating writing, captures the totality of an American tragedy.”—Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize–winning national correspondent for The Washington Post and author of the New York Times bestselling They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement

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