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Who Speaks for the Negro? Hardcover – June, 1965

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Rights at Risk
Join Pulitzer Prize–winner David K. Shipler as he explores the territory where the Constitution meets everyday America. As you read this book, cast your own opinion on whether the civil liberties we rightly take for granted have actually been eroded. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (June 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039445183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394451831
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,246,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Warren’s book remains a luminous volume about race, racism, the South, black America, and our national destiny.  It consistently reflects the uncommon courage, integrity, and prophetic imagination that made him such a towering cultural interpreter when it first appeared. We ignore or forget his work at our peril."—Arnold Rampersad, Stanford University
(Arnold Rampersad)

"There are so many takes on history. In this new edition introduced by the eminent historian David Blight, Who Speaks for the Negro? reveals a provocative admixture of history's variance. Warren's book is a burden of the past from which we cannot escape. In somewhat melancholic ways, it is also symptomatic and axiomatic with respect to the nightmarish heartbeat of America's indefatigable repetition of racial discrimination. It summons us to awaken a more vital national heartbeat of reparations for an American dilemma."—Houston Baker, Vanderbilt University
(Houston Baker)

"Not exactly a stroll down memory lane and certainly not a song to sing, yet, Who Speaks For The Negro, brings back a question one would have thought already answered.  We still search America’s soul for how to and who to include.  Robert Penn Warren has, as did Gunnar Myrdal a bit later, brought the possibilities forward.  This is still a book worthy of your time and somehow still a part of ours."—Nikki Giovanni
(Nikki Giovanni)

“As one interviewed by Robert Penn Warren I was both suspicious and hopeful about his project. Amid the turmoil of Vietnam and the Selma to Montgomery march the book was underappreciated. Fifty years later we have this archival treasure that demonstrates why the Civil Rights Movement in fact gave our land its second equality, life and liberty movement.”—Reverend James Lawson   
(Reverend James Lawson) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Penn Warren (1905–1989) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times: in 1946 for his novel All the King’s Men and twice for his poetry, in 1958 and 1979. David W. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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