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Driving While Brown: Sheriff Joe Arpaio versus the Latino Resistance (Hardcover)
2021 NPR Books We Love
"A smart, well-documented book about a group of people determined to hold the powerful to account."—Michael Schaub, Book Critic
How Latino activists brought down powerful Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Journalists Terry Greene Sterling and Jude Joffe-Block spent years chronicling the human consequences of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s relentless immigration enforcement in Maricopa County, Arizona. In Driving While Brown, they tell the tale of two opposing movements that redefined Arizona’s political landscape—the restrictionist cause embraced by Arpaio and the Latino-led resistance that rose up against it.
The story follows Arpaio, his supporters, and his adversaries, including Lydia Guzman, who gathered evidence for a racial-profiling lawsuit that took surprising turns. Guzman joined a coalition determined to stop Arpaio, reform unconstitutional policing, and fight for Latino civil rights. Driving While Brown details Arpaio's transformation—from "America’s Toughest Sheriff," who forced inmates to wear pink underwear, into the nation’s most feared immigration enforcer who ended up receiving President Donald Trump’s first pardon. The authors immerse readers in the lives of people on both sides of the battle and uncover the deep roots of the Trump administration's immigration policies.
The result of tireless investigative reporting, this powerful book provides critical insights into effective resistance to institutionalized racism and the community organizing that helped transform Arizona from a conservative stronghold into a battleground state.
About the Author
Terry Greene Sterling is affiliated faculty and writer-in-residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She is the author of Illegal. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Rolling Stone, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Slate, the Daily Beast, the Village Voice, High Country News, the Guardian, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, and other publications. Greene Sterling is Editor-at-Large for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.
Jude Joffe-Block joined The Associated Press as a reporter and editor in 2020. Before that, she reported on immigration for more than a decade for outlets that include NPR, the Guardian, The World and Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. She was a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation and a fellow with New America, the Center for the Future of Arizona, and the Logan Nonfiction Program while coauthoring this book. She began her journalism career in Mexico.
“A work of exemplary reporting.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“An ‘I-can’t-put-it-down’ book. Even as one who has followed the career of Arpaio for over 25 years, I found it fascinating to learn in detail of the grass-roots movement that arose in opposition to his policies. . . . The authors don’t just relate events, they tell the stories of some of the most noteworthy players in this drama. We get a sense of their humanity, their conflicts, and their struggles. This makes the book not only a definitive treatment of the Arpaio phenomenon, but also a highly readable, gripping story.”
— KTAR/Think Tank with Mike ONeil
"Meticulously reported. . . . A story of hope, however tentative."
— Arizona Republic
“As engaging as it is enraging. . . . Greene Sterling and Joffe-Block do a superb job. . . . Driving While Brown [is] a necessary read that is more than a biography of a blowhard sheriff — it is a chronicle of how seemingly impossible battles are the ones that matter most.”?
— Los Angeles Review of Books
"In their new book, journalists Terry Greene Sterling and Jude Joffe-Block tell the story of the Latinx activists who brought about his downfall – it’s a smart, well-documented book about a group of people determined to hold the powerful to account."
— NPR Books/ “Books We Love”