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Civilities and Civil Rights : Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom [Paperback]

William H. Chafe
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 14, 1981 0195029194 978-0195029192 Reprint
Reveals how whites in Greensboro used the traditional Southern concept of civility as a means of keeping Black protest in check and how Black activists continually devised new ways of asserting their quest for freedom.

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Editorial Reviews


"Thoughtful, well written, and thoroughly researched, it is a work of disciplined, committed scholarship that is likely to inspire imitation....It represents the sort of scholarly advocacy that honors the historian's calling."--The New Republic

"A finely wrought narrative, but much more--a troubling commentary on conflict, consensus, paternalism, and gentility, which carries far beyond Greensboro....There is a boldness in this book which is rare in the profession....It makes us think beyond its boundaries."--Howard Zinn, The Yale Review

"Social history at its best, portraying the events that led up to the sit-ins and the disappointments that came after, and arguing that these confrontations were vital for any real change."--The New York Times Book Review

"Undoubtedly the best case study on the Civil Rights movement."--Mark Kornbluh, Washington University

About the Author

William H. Chafe is at Duke University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 14, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195029194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195029192
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Civil review February 10, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book. I thought some moments in time could have been interlinked a bit tighter, but overall, it was very insightful and educational. A must read for those who get snowed over by the "his story" books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Impropoerly rated November 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was rated as acceptable, but it really wasn't. The copy was very dirty, and the spine was totally cracked. I kept it, because I was anxious to read it. It was a very informative read.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Thought April 15, 2007
This book is a view of what ordinary people, black and white, did to change the city of Greensboro, North Carolina during the civil rights era. It is mainly the story of grassroots activism with a smattering of the activities of politicians. In fact, there is more about what the elite of the community did than the politicians. The book covers the famous lunch counter sit-ins of 1961, school integration, white backlash and the black power movement. There is also a description of the split between members of the black community in the early seventies along generational lines.

Buyer beware...this is not a description of the Civil Rights movement in North Carolina. It is far more a case study of one town. In that sense, it is limited. Some of the prose in the book has not worn well over the past 27 years. Simply put, this isn't the definitive book for Civil Rights in North Carolina.

Having said that, the story is interesting and well researched if the reader is only looking for information on Greensboro, and the bibliography in the back, while not tremendously detailed, appears to be a good place to continue looking for more information.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greensboro, NC has alot History November 27, 2012
By Pepper
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hey I was required to read this book to better understand the struggle of the Blacks and how hard they fought through protest to change the view of America in terms of equal and human rights.
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