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Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0807842881 ISBN-10: 0807842885 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; First Edition edition (November 16, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807842885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807842881
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A fascinating and indispensable contribution to the history of American radicalism and to black history.

Nation

Robin Kelley has written the most important book on American radicalism in the last ten years.

Mark Naison, author of Communists in Harlem During the Depression

Robin Kelley writes an account that beautifully balances culture, government, economics, and ideology.

Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University

Should serve as a model for historians seeking to recapture the untold story of other southern radicals during the 1930s.

Journal of Southern History


More About the Author

Robin D. G. Kelley never met Thelonious Monk, but he grew up with his music. Born in 1962, he spent his formative years in Harlem in a household and a city saturated with modern jazz. As a child he took a few trumpet lessons with the legendary Jimmy Owens, played French horn in junior high school, and picked up piano during his teen years in California. In 1987, Kelley earned his PhD in History from UCLA and focused his work on social movements, politics and culture--although music remained his passion.

During his tenure on the faculties of Emory University, the University of Michigan, New York University, and Columbia University, Kelley's scholarly interests shifted increasingly toward music. He has written widely on jazz, hip hop, electronic music, musicians' unions and technological displacement, and social and political movements more broadly.

Before becoming Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, Robin D. G. Kelley served on the faculty at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, where he held the first Louis Armstrong Chair in Jazz Studies. Besides Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, Kelley has authored several prize-winning books, including Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression (University of North Carolina Press, 1990); Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class (The Free Press, 1994); Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press, 1997), which was selected one of the top ten books of 1998 by the Village Voice. He is currently completing Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2011), and a general survey of African American history co-authored with Tera Hunter and Earl Lewis to be published by Norton.

Kelley's essays have appeared in several anthologies and journals, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Color Lines, Code Magazine, Utne Reader, Lenox Avenue, African Studies Review, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, New Politics, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, One World, Social Text, Metropolis, American Visions, Boston Review, Fashion Theory, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, New Labor Forum, Souls, Metropolis, and frieze: contemporary art and culture, to name a few.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Howard J. Herskovitz on August 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a first-rate history of the Communist Party and its fellow-travelers in Alabama during the depression. It describes the Party during the "third period" and the popular front era. While it does not discuss the ulterior motives of the Party in any great detail, it does help to establish the positive role of the Communists in the prehistory of the civil rights movement. It also gives glimpses of the life in the Party in Alabama including Communist songs sung to the tune of spirituals, and African-American Young Pioneers. In addition, book discusses the courage of the Communists in resisting racism.

The attempt by radicals in the 1930's to change this country for the better has not found its rightful place in popular or high school history. This book helps to remedy that omission.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Kelley has produced a powerful and startling history of the deep south in the 1930s. He tackles a difficult subject both historically and ideologically (the relationship between poor black sharecroppers and the American Communist party). His tireless efforts at writing this book shine out of the pages unquestionably as does his deep, thoughtful intelligence. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in subversive U.S. history or just in a good read.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is great, it undermines the conventional treatments of afro-american history and although it is focused in the south it takes a genuine look at the struggle to free the shackles from Afro-americans and lift the blanket of opressions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was terrific. It's a well-researched work on a topic very little study has been done on. Reading this book made me rethink my view of the civil rights period. The men and women discussed in this book paved the way for the civil rights movement. It's unfortunate this chapter in Southern history has been mostly forgotten. I really enjoyed this book and wish there was more written on this topic. Black Worker in the Deep South is a good supplement to this book. The author is mentioned in Hammer and Hoe and gives a more personalized perspective of the events mentioned in the Kelley book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack Cade on January 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe that Prof. Kelley -along with Profs Linebaugh and Rediker- are the most important historians writing these days. Prof. Kelley --apart from being a splendid writer-- challenges
the mythology or I should say cliches that passes for the history of a people though long suffering and abused , never stopped resisting the most baroque and savage indignities and repression visited upon them. No one having read Hammer and Hoe will ever want to see such enormities as Birth of a Nation or Gone with the Wind. More importantly, Kelley powerfully shows that African Americans were not beaten into a state of passivity (a view held even by some of the noblest members of SNCC) but rather fought tenaciously for their rights. Though Prof. Kelley does not mention it (it is not part of this book's project) one would do well to remember that after the destruction of the Black section of Tulsa evidence reveals that more White people than Black ended up dead--however his description of the events of Camp Hill alone make the same point. . Nor is Prof. Kelley afraid to challenge Cold War lies. He points out that the leadership of the USSR was instrumental in forcing CPUSA to give priority to fighting racial injustice, a struggle which it embraced with more passion and dedication than any other "civil rights" organization at the time.
Black sharecroppers did call Stalin the "new Lincoln" John Garner, Lemon Johnson DID read Lenin's State and Revolution and Stalin on the national question. They did look at organizations such as the NAACP with something bordering on contempt--as they sung" The NAACP no Moses/can stop us Blackies fighting the bosses...Teacher Lenin don said/Brothers all oppressed an po/Ain't it so?/Sho!
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