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Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching Paperback – March 3, 2009


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Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching + Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells (Negro American Biographies and Autobiographies) + Southern Horrors and Other Writings; The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060797363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060797362
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A groundbreaking biography gives this warrior her due.” (O magazine)

A sweeping and timely biographical narrative about Ida B. Wells...a paragon of American history. (Ebony)

“A hearty thumbs-up for this powerful retelling of her life.” (Essence)

“Paula J. Giddings IDA: A SWORD AMONG LIONS (Amistad) is a worthy biography of the vibrant crusader who led the nation’s first campaign against lynching.” (Vogue)

“Ida B. Wells was an inspired journalist, an uncompromising civil libertarian, and a woman far ahead of her patriarchal times—a ‘difficult’ woman. Paula Giddings’s monumental achievement restores this extraordinary contrarian to her place as one of the grand pace-setters of American social justice and female empowerment.” (David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-Winning biographer of W.E.B. DuBois)

“History at its best—clear, intelligent, moving. Paula Giddings has written a book as priceless as its subject.” (Toni Morrison)

“The best interpretation of black women and race and sex that we have.” (Women's Review of Books on When and Where I Enter)

About the Author

Paula J. Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor in Afro-American Studies at Smith College and the author of When and Where I Enter and In Search of Sisterhood.


More About the Author

Paula J. Giddings is the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor in Afro-American Studies at Smith College and the author of When and Where I Enter and In Search of Sisterhood.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert T Canipe on July 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Giddings' biography presents the life of a woman whose courage and intelligence transcends the time in which she lived. Wells story resonates with the troublesome duality of being black and intelligent during a time that most of society saw African Americans as less-than-human. Moreover, Giddings' research builds step-by-step to grow an illustration of Wells resplendent in its examples of unintended consequences. Each violent action by the racists unintentionally shines light on Wells poetic writings that casts each action in its stony hatred for all humanity not only black humanity. Consequently, Giddings' prose flows through each active time of Wells' career as a journalist and writer of civil rights chapbooks almost as though she were channeling Wells herself since Wells story builds from one hair-raising escape from one bigoted southern town to the next. Pick it up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Lynch on August 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ida: A Sword Among Lions is a great biographic start for students of history. It provides thought provoking and pain staking details of a hurricanic time in American history...and Ida B. Wells-Barnett was the eye of the storm. She uprooted anyone or anything that stood in the way of justice for African-Americans- from lynchings to women's suffrage, jobs and politics. As a woman, she was before her time in aggressive-ness, assertiveness, and intelligence. I would dare say that the majority of her problems with her contemporaries were gender related. Giddings took a complicated and complex woman during a crucial era and produced a compelling contribution to African American history and the history of the Women's Movement. The book was too long, but will wet your appetite to learn more about the people, places, and events so thoroughly documented in this biography.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Ross on June 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to read about this wonderful woman I've heard so much about. I also wanted to read about her since she lived during the same time as my great grandparents . I've been studying the family history and I get a great since of what their lives were like. A must read for anyone wanting to know the history of that day. Lots of things happening then apply to our current history. Written in excellent style and great understanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tracy on January 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a well researched book on an American Heroine. Ida wrote when it was dangerous for Black People and Women. 1880's to 1930. Paul Giddings has done a masterful job of bringing this story to the forefront. The book is long but worth every minute. I only wish I could see a picture mentioned in the book about Ida marching in the 1913 Women Suffrage March in Washington DC with her White Illinois Delegation. She refused to march in the back as the Southern Women Delegations asked. AS a student of history, I would give this a A Plus.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Title: Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching
Author: Paula J. Giddings
Rating: ****
Tags: lynching, women, suffrage, civil rights, ida b. wells, frederick douglass, non-fiction

Ida B. Wells, at least until the publication of this book, was something of a footnote in history, her role in anti-lynching campaigns played down by those who came after her.

Gidding's book restores Wells reputation, in great detail. Actually the book was hard for me to get through. It is long and heavy, not good with my minor carpal tunnel. But I decided to finish the book and am glad that I did.

Wells was born a slave in 1862. Her parents were skilled though, and made an easier transition to freedom than many others. Unfortunately they died young, and Wells and her siblings were forced to survive on their own. Wells lived in Memphis and was a teacher. Black civil rights, gained afer the Civil War, began to be eroded pretty quickly. Wells first came to public attention with an anti-lynching article in 1892, against the lynching of three men, one of whom was a friend of hers. Her anti-lynching campaign helped propel her into journalism, but she was forced into exile from Memphis in fear of her life. She traveled a lot, eventually winding up in Chicago, where she married a lawyer named Ferdinand Barnett and had four children with him. She never stopped working for civil rights for African-Americans and women, and for improving conditions for blacks.

In her anti-lynching campaigns, she investigated incidents in detail, and published the results in pamphlets, while also writing articles refuting that the cause of most lynchings was black male rape of white women.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paula Giddings gives an insightful and comprehensive bio on the great Ida B. Wells. This is a must read for any serious US Historian to understand America's social and political past in the Jim Crow Era.
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By Tweety on December 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not the finest piece of literature, but written well enough to keep you reading. It also tells the story of an amazing lady worth getting to know through this book.
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