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Go and Tell Pharaoh Hardcover – March 1, 1996

3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Alternately admired and abhorred in New York City and beyond, the Reverend Al Sharpton has found himself in the middle of many of the city's recent racial battles including the Bernhard Goetz case, Howard Beach, Bensonhurst, the Tawana Brawley investigation, and Crown Heights. In many cases, it was Sharpton's confrontational tactics that either brought the matter to light, or pushed it to a boiling point. In Go and Tell Pharaoh Sharpton reflects on these events and examines his own process of maturation and prospects for the future.


He comes through as more of an entertainer than a hater, a relentless protester with an instinct for the camera and an ambition to play on the main stage.... He argues, too plausibly alas, that it takes commotion and disruption to grab the attention of a city that would rather not be annoyed and to put the heat on officials who might otherwise not exert themselves in the interests of poor blacks. -- The New York Times Book Review, Walter Goodman

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385475837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385475839
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Apparently convinced that his too-frequent appearances in other media (ie., television and radio) are not enough, America's number one professional protester has produced a book which is nothing less than an exercise in pure narcissism. Making it abundantly clear that he is his own greatest admirer, Al tries to portray himself as a great man and a great leader, and fails miserably on both counts. Instead, the reader is bombarded by the usual self-serving, bombastic, racist drivel which has become Al's trademark. It is thrilling to learn that Al began preaching at the age of four; unfortunately, however, he has not shut his mouth since then. The only thing which has changed is that this self-appointed "leader" has become a devoted anti-Semite and, despite his claim to the title "Reverend", has proven clearly that he worships himself above all others. Indeed, Al has thus far achieved nothing positive for African-Americans; in fact, he has done more to exacerbate racial disharmony than David Duke could have ever imagined, and that's quite an accomplishment. This book is a waste of the reader's time.
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By A Customer on January 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As the title of this book suggests, Alvin Sharpton, the self-anointed messiah, would like to be perceived as a modern-day Moses; however, his self-serving "autobiography" abjectly fails to promote that image. Instead, he merely reinforces the ever-growing perception that he is nothing more than a pompous, arrogant loudmouth who has thus far accomplished nothing for the African-American community. Rather, he has damaged race relations through his inability to distinguish between reasoned argument and bombastic posturing. His disgraceful conduct during the Brawley hoax proved that his commitment to "justice" is a sham. Mr. Sharpton has shown himself to be no more than a cheap hoodlum and professional race baiter, who has made a career of rabble-rousing. In fact, he seems to have the same agenda as David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, and Tom Metzger, which is to spread hatred for profit and fame; if America ever realizes the goal of true racial harmony, these fellows will have to find real jobs. This book is a dreadful waste of ink, paper, money, and time - avoid it! Al should be quite ashamed but, alas, he is as incapable of shame as he is of truthfulness. Get a job, Al!
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Format: Hardcover
For several years now I've watched references in various newspapers to see how Al Sharpton is portrayed. In general, the references are negative. He is called a racist, a demagogue, a hate-monger, a rabble-rouser, a charlatan, and opportunist...I never saw any column or article that spoke well of him, so I was pleased to find he had this book out, which tells his side of the story.
It seems to me he's gotten a bad rap. His fame comes mainly out of the Howard Beach and Bensonhurst murders and the Tawana Brawley affair. In the Brawley affair he apparently was duped. In Howard Beach and Bensonhurst his actions were, in my view, exemplary and necessary.
Compare the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict in LA to the aftermath of Howard Beach. In LA they had a massive riot. In Howard Beach Reverend Sharpton led a series of peaceful protest marches. It's not farfetched to suggest that a riot could have occurred after Howard Beach. Instead, Sharpton organized marches in the best tradition of nonviolent protest.
Even if Michael Griffith had not been chased out onto the Belt Parkway and struck by a car and killed, the protest marches would have been justified. The reason he was chased was that his car broke down in a neighborhood where the inhabitants had the peculiar idea that they were entitled to decide who could come into their neighborhood, and who could not. It was "their turf ". The same was true of Bensonhurst. The people of Bensonhurst had the idea, supported by years of official acquiescence, that they were entitled to keep blacks out of their neighborhood.
In the South forty years ago that was known as segregation, and people deliberately marched and rode in the front of busses and drank from water fountains to put a stop to it.
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Format: Hardcover
Alfred Charles "Al" Sharpton, Jr. (born 1954) is an American Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and radio talk show host, as well as a noteworthy public figure. Here are some quotations from the book:

"I didn't have time in those years to explain the beliefs that fueled my actions, and, if the truth be told, few were asking: the media seemed to enjoy portraying me as a substanceless gadfly." (Pg. 4)
"The church was the place where you could be more than a boy." (Pg. 23)
"But strange as it may sound, I don't totally blame those whites. Their rage came from years of white politicians, Nixon into Reagan on through Bush, telling white folks that the reason the country doesn't work is blacks. This led to the reenergizing of racism and race scapegoating." (Pg. 118)
"Farrakhan marched with us, which was unique because he had never before been on a march; the Nation of Islam disapproved of them." (Pg. 122)
"The natural ties that have bound us together in the past must be reestablished. Jewish spokespersons must speak out more forcefully whenever black rights are trampled, just as blacks must protest every instance of anti-Semitism. Whether blacks and Jews on both sides realize it, our civil and human rights are intertwined." (Pg. 204)
"Black Americans are the most stable Africans in the world, but we do not use out $400-billion consumer market wisely, for either ourselves or others, and we squander what could become enormous political power. If we took our $400 billion and consolidated it in economic institutions, undergirded black banks and businesses, there's so much we could do in our own self-contained world that could become a platform of freedom for blacks in America and around the world." (Pg. 248)
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