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

William M. Tuttle
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 1996 0252065867 978-0252065866
'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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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

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252065867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252065866
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Work, Highly Recommended 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"Race Riot" by William M. Tuttle Jr. is strong analysis of urban race relations in America. While the book focuses on the Chicago race riot of 1919 and the conditions that led to the bloodshed, it also provides a larger historical context of the WWI era, as well as the 1919 riot in relation to those of the 1960's. Considering this book was published in 1970, it seems an appropriate topic given the climate of the times and proves the old adage that "he who is ignorant of history is doomed to repeat it."

Tuttle was a professor at the University of Kansas, so he seems in a relevant position to write this book, given Kansas' role in precipitating the Civil War, as well as undergoing similar racial disputes that were common to the era and mid-western location. I would say that Tuttle remains true to his academic platform in giving a generally sympathetic cause and effect of the events that led up to horrendous racial violence, and refrains from any specific "finger pointing"; his approach is that of a true academic in that he seeks the objective truth, and through it a larger conflict that is relevant in race relations throughout America.

Despite the subtitle which is "Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919", the main focus of the book is upon the racial tension between blacks and whites; he doesn't really explore the radical communist threat that had the government and hard line right wingers in a frenzy. Perhaps he used that as play on words, utilizing the word "red" as an association of the blood which was spilled in the streets of Chicago.

This book is easy to read yet essential for anyone interested in race relations, as well as the WWI era.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book 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
4.0 out of 5 stars best (and only) book on the 1919 Chicago riots September 5, 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, thoughtful inquiry--refreshing and bold October 24, 1998
By A Customer
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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