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  • The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

  • By: John Barnes
  • Narrated by: John Barnes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (153 ratings)

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The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism cover art

The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

By: John Barnes
Narrated by: John Barnes
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Summary

An eloquent and thought-provoking audiobook on racism and prejudice by the Liverpool and England football legend John Barnes.

John Barnes spent the first dozen years of his life in Jamaica before moving to the UK with his family in 1975. Six years later, he was a professional footballer, distinguishing himself for Watford, Liverpool and England, and in the process, becoming this country's most prominent Black player.

Barnes is now an articulate and captivating social commentator on a broad range of issues, and in The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism, he tackles head-on the issues surrounding prejudice with his trademark intelligence and authority.

By vividly evoking his personal experiences, and holding a mirror to this country's past, present and future, Barnes provides a powerful and moving testimony. The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism will help to inform and advance the global conversation around society's ongoing battle with the awful stain of prejudice.

©2021 John Barnes (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What listeners say about The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow…… very thought provoking!

I have spent many years reading and studying (academically and personally) about discrimination of all kinds, including racism, and I’m always keen to try and further my understanding.

John Barnes introduces these issues from a different perspective and discusses some interesting and thought provoking concepts. This book has certainly intrigued me and I definitely want to explore these concepts further. I enjoyed it a great deal and would definitely recommend it if you’d like to explore your understanding and potential internal bias.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a must read

'wether you are a racist, or think your not a racist, or you are not a racist'. read it

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant analysis of class and race

John Barnes writes his analysis from a personal perspective coupled with an in depth review of facts throughout history. In partnership this brings a refreshing view on the subject. He rightly calls for a paradigm shift in how race is perceived in society and not just a focus on the overt incidents (police brutality, racial slurs at football matches). Heartily recommended.

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • TC
  • 02-01-22

Possibly better to read than listen

I was really disappointed with this - it’s virtually impossible to listen to. I thought John Barnes (since he is the author and obviously went through the various thought processes of writing the text) would have delivered it in a more thoughtful way, but every paragraph is delivered in the same rapid, monotonous manner. It’s as if he’s rapidly reading aloud some dull contract document, scanning it without conveying any meaning or pausing in the appropriate places for punctuation. For example - there is barely a pause in some instances when there is a new ‘heading’’, and it’s delivered in exactly the same style as the text either side, meaning you are a sentence or so into the new section before you realise the topic has shifted. It’s as if he just wants to get through the material as quickly as possible then get off to wherever he has to be next, which obviously is not especially motivating for the listener. As such it is phenomenally difficult to concentrate on the content and I found myself drifting off - a shame. I am a football fan and have seen JB interviewed and as a pundit umpteen times, so I was prepared for his style of speech - but still found it too much of a barrier. Of course some sentence structures just don’t lend themselves to being read aloud, so perhaps this is one of those books which is better read in a traditional format. Having said that, I also had a problem with some of the content - it’s presented as an academic interrogation of racism at various levels of society (rather than, for example, a personal account of someone’s lived experiences and the conclusions they’ve drawn as a result). But there are whole sections with assertions unsupported by any evidence. This again means the arguments are not compelling or thought-provoking and one’s interest starts to fade. For example: JB asserts in one section that societal and institutional structures may change on the surface, but that the underlying foundations stay the same generation after generation, making true change ‘impossible’. He reiterates the argument a couple of times then gives zero evidence or examples to demonstrate this; he doesn’t even define the nature of the ‘foundations’. The only example he gives of superficial structures changing/foundations staying the same is in relation to Manchester City and Atletico Madrid, who retain a rigid philosophy of footballing play but periodically change the personnel who enact it! The example is completely irrelevant to the argument he has tried to pose, and then it’s on to the next section! Afraid to say I couldn’t finish this, my advice would be if you are still interested: read the text but don’t bother with the audio book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Man speaks uncomfortable truths

Add another star for narrating the book himself.

This book should be in schools, particularly white dominated schools.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A thought provoking take by a leader in this field

He could have easily expanded on some of the historical topics and that would have been fine by me.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Clearly explained and relatable on every level

John breaks down different aspects of this topic providing clear and simple real life examples that everyone can relate to. Whether we chose to accept them or not, he makes them glaringly obvious, providing much food for thought!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Insightful

This book has benn very illuminating.
I got to learn alot and see a fresh perspective.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

The best book I've listened to in a long long very long long time.

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very insightful and an eye opener

one of the books that you will listen to over and over to gather all the intresting points. highly Recommend this book and embarrassed to say I held points of view unconsciously but will now take a long pause before thinking in the future. Great book . would love to read more publications from John Barnes.

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