Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (Blacks in the New World)

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0252065866
ISBN-10: 0252065867
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book has more lives than a cat because its feet are firmly planted on the bedrock issues of race and class, its analysis goes to the quick of urban-industrial life in the early twentieth century, and its vivid narrative captures the tumultuous riot without ever losing scholarly balance." -- Alan Dawley, author of Struggles for Justice. "An important contribution to the history of American violence." -- Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252065867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252065866
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Bruton on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent account of the causes and aftermath of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. Tuttle manages to pull together an array of primary sources including newspaper articles, meeting minutes, and first-hand accounts, both written and oral, to tell the story of the Chicago Race Riot. His goal is to write history "from the bottom up", and in this, he is successful.

My only complaint is that by focusing heavily on individual accounts and exceptions to the norm, Tuttle misses out on some broader historical trends. However, since his stated goal is to write a study of "individuals as well as groups", this approach is understandable, and, in places, even desirible.

This is one of the only books on the subject of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, and, as such, it should be of interest to anyone studying the history of Chicago or the history of race relations in the United States.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookaholic on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Overall this is a wonderful book. It is obviously this is a long term study done by William W. Tuttle, Jr. I found that his main goal in this book was to write an understandable book that documents the events that occured in Chicago in the year of 1919. In his book, it is apparent that he covered every aspect and perspective of the events that took place. This may be due to the fact that he not only focuses on the events that took place in chicago. but also on other similar events that took place around the nation. My only compliant might be that because of this the theme of the book at times seem recurrent and repeative. That aside, I would suggest this book to anyone interested in the history of Chicago.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
As far as I know, this is the only book on the subject, which is an absolutely fascinating one for me. It is well written and very coherent, but unfortunately the author spends most of the book of the causes and results of the riots, not on the riot itself. Still, this is a wonderful book, essential for anybody interested in Chicago history.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Not only does William M. Tuttle, Jr. show every virtue of a lover of history, but he does so with enough clear, crisp understanding that every point seems to sympathize with the mind of even an armchair historian of Black-American mores.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who is from the Chicago area, spent the first almost 14 years of my life there, this book really hit home. As a boy I heard about the infamous 1919 Chicago Race Riot, mostly from school, but deep down I always felt it was a myth. I mean, who isn't well aware that deep seeded racism existed in the United States, in particular the Deep South. However, from reading Tuttle's book I gained a better understanding that a savage race riot did occur in July 1919 in Chicago. In fact, the situation in the United States in 1919, the Great Red Scare of 1919 and 1920, made Chicago an ideal place for a race riot to occur. Be it savage competition over jobs, completion over neighborhoods, racial misunderstanding, a political tug of war between Chicago Mayor Thompson and Illinois Governor Lowden, Chicago was a mound of explosives in the Red Summer of 1919. The racial tension simmering in the city of Chicago was just like someone was flicking lit matches at the pile of explosive material. What will happen in that situation, sooner or later there will be an explosion. If there is one thing that has given the United States of America a black eye in it's history it is racial violence. During 1919 race riots were like a computer virus that keep spreading from city to city. Eventually a black boy would drown over a melee at a segregated beach, white and blacks would exchange gunfire over the outrage of the black youth's drowning, and the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 began. From there it was racial war. Pick up Tuttle's book and explore a dark chapter in Chicago's past.
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