The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

Written by:
Caitlin Roper
Narrated by:
Nikole Hannah-Jones

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2021
18 hours 57 minutes
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Marie Claire
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

Cover image: Lorna Simpson Beclouded, 2018 © Lorna Simpson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Read by a full cast, including:
Nikole Hannah-Jones, January LaVoy, Claudia Rankine, Nikky Finney, Janina Edwards, Dorothy Roberts, Shayna Small, Terrance Hayes, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Yusef Komunyakaa, Eve L. Ewing, Karen Chilton, Aaron Goodson, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Erin Miles, Dominic Hoffman, Adenrele Ojo, Matthew Desmond, Tyehimba Jess, Tim Seibles, Jamelle Bouie, Cornelius Eady, Minka Wiltz, Martha S. Jones, Darryl Pinckney, ZZ Packer, Carol Anderson, Tracy K. Smith, Evie Shockley, Bryan Stevenson, William DeMeritt, Jasmine Mans, Trymaine Lee, A. Van Jordan, Yaa Gyasi, Linda Villarosa, Danez Smith, Terry McMillan, Anthea Butler, Rita Dove, Camille T. Dungy, Wesley Morris, Natasha Trethewey, Joshua Bennett, Chanté McCormick, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Ron Butler, Kevin M. Kruse, Bahni Turpin, Gregory Pardlo, Ibram X. Kendi, JD Jackson, Jason Reynolds, and Sonia Sanchez
Profile Avatar
Sydni B.

The incredible truth about the foundation of America and how it was the built on the backs of black Americans.

Profile Avatar


Profile Avatar
Henry N.

needed to be read!

Profile Avatar

A lot of opinion and conjecture, there is much that is bias, selective, deceptive and opinionated version of history. How about present the truth and the full history as we know it and let everyone form their own opinions. But honesty is not something you will find in this book.

Profile Avatar
Bob W.

This book is essential reading. If your reading just to have your view reinforced it might not be for you but it is carefully documented, well written and there’s poetry too.

Profile Avatar
Michael P.

I found the 1619 Project to be intellectually stimulating, poetically rich and enlightening. Surely it should be read in high school advanced placement classes, where future American leaders would learn the truth so that our country might live up to the promise of life, liberty and happiness for all it's citizens.

Profile Avatar

For those who want to learn about the other side of our history, the history that is not shared our school textbooks, read this book. It is important we educate ourselves with all truths of history, not just the parts we are comfortable hearing. A few excerpts from the book: Severe segregation, poverty, joblessness, lack of access to housing, lack of access to economic opportunities, discrimination in the job market combined with pervasive police violence and harassment had created a tinderbox of rage and despair that would certainly result in more uprisings if drastic action was not taken. -Kerner commission report Lyndon Johnson 1967 The report found that many white people are in denial at the cause of these uprisings Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin Freedom is not for myself alone by Robert Jones, Junior For people to have everything, they seem to know not a thing. America would not be America without the contributions of black Americans. Without the wealth of black labor, without black striving, without black ingenuity, without black resistance None of us can be held responsible for the actions of our ancestors, but if today we choose not to do the right and necessary thing, that burden we own

Profile Avatar
John Mell

Sadly re-invisioning something done to a group of people that is awful doesn't make it worse it was already bad. Also seems to fail to mention the people selling the slaves were their own people. Another re-invention of slavery to keep people who werent even there guilty, while keeping another group in fear of slavery today. Slavery was awful, but none of us were there to experience it just like we weren't there for the concentration camps.

Profile Avatar
Jonathan W.


Profile Avatar
Vicki S.

It was beautifully read and the stories and essays were excellent. It was quite long, so I listened to those that interested me and did skip over those that were of less interest…like a buffet! This complete production is well worth the time.

Profile Avatar

Excellent research

Profile Avatar
Michelle-Lee H.

NY Times garbage. True, our history lessons leave out and embellish so much, skewing our understanding. I am all for learning and filling in those gaps, correcting misconceptions. But the 1619 project is refutable lies. For a great analysis on the problem and background of history education, read John Leowen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me." Thorough and well researched! There are videos of his lectures on YouTube as well. He also has some other related books on the history of monuments and historical landmarks. One is called "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong." Public history is so important, but stay away from 1619 project, or at least read it to know the lies.

Profile Avatar

utter rubbish.

Profile Avatar

Very informative and enjoyed the read…I’m curious to know how many people “hated” the book without actually reading it??

Profile Avatar

This book traces the historical fact that support the current issues in America. It even provides documentation to support the statement made. It will trigger those who have the false belief that blacks are inferior to white. It will further confirm that the social, justice system, political system, and bias that exist in America toward African Americans were purposely designed. If you are looking for a feel-good book or to confirm your white supremacy tendency/thoughts, this is not for you. Nor will it provide comfort for those who are sexist (black, white, Asian, Latinos, etc.) with your racist twist. While listening to it, I purchase the book to validate some of the historical facts stated. This book barely touches the surface of U.S. history which is at its best incomplete.

Profile Avatar
Demetra K.

Very informative

Profile Avatar
Haifa S.

This is such an important read! it was long and hard, but so is the history.

1 book added to cart
View Cart