A NEW book from David Lammy has been acquired by Constable, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group.
The publisher bought UK and Commonwealth rights for the Tottenham MP’s incisive new book Tribes, which has been described as part memoir, part call-to-arms.
In 2007, inspired by the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act and looking to explore his own African roots, David Lammy took a DNA test. Ostensibly he was a middle-aged husband and father, MP for Tottenham and a die-hard Spurs fan. But his nucleic acids revealed that he was 25% Tuareg tribe (Niger), 25% Temne tribe (Sierra Leone), 25% Bantu tribe (South Africa), with 5% traces of Celtic Scotland and a mishmash of other unidentified groups.
Tribes explores how reading his DNA results led Lammy to rethink what it meant to need to belong to a tribe. How this need – genetically programmed and socially acquired – can manifest itself in positive ways, collaboratively achieving great things that individuals alone cannot. And yet how, in recent years, globalisation and digitisation have led to new, more pernicious kinds of tribalism.
“At this time of unprecedented polarisation both within and beyond politics, I am excited to be writing a book which confronts the questions of belonging which lie behind it,” says Lammy.
“With the global resurgence of a toxic ethnic nationalism on the right, and exclusionary politics on the far left, the early 2020s will be a crucial turning point in this century. By starting with an honest look at the tribes of which I am personally a member, I explore both the good and the bad of tribalism, before asking how different groups – within towns, countries and beyond – can come together.”
According to Campomar, “David’s book is a timely one: a fascinating and perceptive analysis of not only the way the world works but also the way we are. Moreover, it will demonstrate how we can channel our need to belong into inclusive civic identities that work across classes, ethnicities and geographical boundaries.”
Tribes will be published October 10 2020 as a hardback and eBook.