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Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The fight for voting rights is becoming, once again, a major theme in US politics. For anyone who wants to understand what's at stake -- and why there's reason for both concern and hope -- or how a previous generation transformed America through the power of the vote -- this is an essential read.
The first half of "Bending Towards Justice" ("The arc of history is long but it bends towards Justice") relates the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement for an end to Jim Crow, and to get the Voting Rights Act. It is a story of hard won triumph told rather straightforward, with epic incidents of brutality, caught on news cameras. Almost as soon as the Voting Rights act is passed though, the Civil Rights Movement splinters between the non-violent factions and the more aggressive, even racist, elements; then, with the Los Angeles Watts riots that summer, and other race riots to follow; the murder of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy; and amid the surge in anti-war protests, the movement seemingly evaporates.
The second half is drier by far, relating the ongoing congressional struggles to keep the Voting Rights Act intact, and details how, with each succeeding election cycle, the very success of the Act becomes its own worst enemy; The Voting Rights Act increasingly looks as if it's redundant, especially with the election of an African American President. Yet, what we also see is that the enemies of the Act; of universal franchise; and ultimately, of anyone who might vote Democrat, have learned their lesson.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5 stars for the historical record May presents, essential reading, but the book becomes politically unbalanced as it moves to the present day. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a timely book, It is not a story of the legislative process
but combines what the people did at Selma with what a President
did in Washington. Important.
Beautifully written and scholarly. I would without hesitation recommend this book as the first book one should read in order to understand the Voting Rights Act and the civil... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Deep and satisfying. A familiar story, but one that benefits from retelling after the passage of time.Published 17 months ago by JAC
Well written and complete. Having lived through that era, it was interesting to get a closer picture of the workings and ideology of the various civil rights groups involved in the... Read morePublished 18 months ago by BW
I just completed Gary May's book, Bending Toward Justice. The book is fantastic. I've written some history and I know how hard it is to decide which wonderful bits to include and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Craig Slatin
As a participant in the last part of the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965, I found May's book an extremely good review of the history of that period and all the difficulties that... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Janet E. Wolfe
Fascinating, well researched history of the voting rights act and its impact on the US. This is history all Americans of any color should know.Published 22 months ago by Cauchydog