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The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 27, 2009

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 27, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis (Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table) revisits the ragtag band of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Impatient with what they considered the overly cautious and accommodating pace of the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr., the black college students and their white allies, inspired by Gandhi's principles of nonviolence and moral integrity, risked their lives to challenge a deeply entrenched system. Fanning out over the Jim Crow South, SNCC organized sit-ins, voter registration drives, Freedom Schools and protest marches. Despite early successes, the movement disintegrated in the late 1960s, succeeded by the militant Black Power movement. The highly readable history follows the later careers of the principal leaders. Some, like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, became bitter and disillusioned. Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged. According to the author, No organization contributed more to the civil rights movement than SNCC, and with his eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute. (Nov.)
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The Shadows of Youth is a kind of group biography of this generation of young men and women such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, Diane Nash and Stokely Carmichael. Lewis relies on already-published histories of the movement, but he knows how to tell a compelling story, and he is able to take these figures and render them in their full, three-dimensional complexity. The result is a taut, compact history of the civil rights movement seen from the perspective of a particular generation of its leadership.” —Michael A. Elliott, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Lewis takes on this tumultuous journey in a fact-based account of the movement’s moral and political dilemmas . . . His view of the student movement working in the shadow of the iconic Martin Luther King is both insightful and alarming . . . The extent of Lewis’s research makes this an excellent tool and especially fertile ground for screenwriters, politicians, and anyone interested in this polarizing period of history.” —Sheli Ellsworth, San Francisco Book Review
The Shadows of Youth brings to life once again the nation-transforming '60s. It does so from the perspective of intelligent, passionate black youths. In a clear, measured, and highly readable style, Lewis' book pays tribute to the courage of those students who began their march for freedom on that 1960 Easter weekend in Raleigh.” —William F. Powers, The Raleigh News and Observer
The Shadows of Youth does something that no other book on the civil rights movement has done. Andrew B. Lewis reminds us that the legendary activists of SNCC were not merely civil rights shock troops, activist intellectuals, or democratic idealists; they were also baby boomers, and their story needs to be read in light of the peculiar sturm und drang of America’s post–World War II youth culture.” —Joseph Crespino, author of In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution
“With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis revisits the ‘ragtag band’ of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee…With this eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute.” —Publishers Weekly
“Historian Lewis offers an engaging look at some of the major figures in the budding civil rights Movement” —Vanessa Bush, Booklist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809085984
  • ASIN: B005X4K9FE
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,754,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Lewis has taught at Wesleyan University, Hamilton College, the University of Richmond, Binghamton University, and the University of Virginia. He has also held fellowships from Harvard University, the National Academy of Education, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He has a Ph.d. and M.A. in American History from the University of Virginia and B.A. with Honors from Penn. He grew up in Concord, MA in the shadow of the Old North Bridge where the American Revolution began. In addition to his work on American history he can also be found commenting on celebrity fashion as a "Top Cop" for Us Magazine's Fashion Police twice a month.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Collegetown Reader on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If your knowledge of the Civ. Rights movement centers on Rev. King and his speeches, his version of civil disobedience, this book is a bit of a revelation. The younger, more secular wing of the movement, here embodied in the SNCC, represents an equally vital and compelling strand of modern US and Af-AM history. Author Lewis tells a rich tale of teenagers who turned themselves from consumers and spectators on the margins of the New South into revolutionary actors who, by simply insisting on their right to sit at the Woolworth's counter and eat a burger, ignited a whole game-changing set of protests and programs. A very involving story that narrates the events of the early 60s from the inside out, bringing you into the heady days of youth, and then, in the second half, bringing you out again to a more sober, mixed, but perhaps no less heroic legacy for the major players of SNCC: Julian Bond, Marion Barry, John Lewis, and others....Beautifully balanced between readable narrative and fresh historical interpretation. Anyone with an interest in how the events of the 60s have continued to shape our own era will find this book essential reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By History Geek on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Shadows of Youth, Andrew Lewis upends the traditional narrative of the modern civil rights movement. He puts the hopeful teenagers of the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who risked their lives with the sit-ins, the freedom rides, and Freedom Summer at the center of the story. Through intertwined biographic sketches of SNCC's young leaders -- Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Bob Moses, Marion Berry, Julian Bond and John Lewis -- this book shows the close relationship between rising postwar optimism, consumerism, the rise of youth culture and the civil rights movement. The Shadows of Youth captures both the danger and the pure fun excitement of heady early Movement days among a generation on the precipice of sweeping change, a generation raised on the promises of the American dream and determined to find it. What also sets this story apart from others of the Movement is its attention to the later careers of these leaders to ask not just what happened to them, but how did the shadow of their early activism extend over their entire lives. Highly readable, instantly engaging. Shadows of Youth is completely accessible to the novice reader as well as to those more steeped in the historiography of the Movement.
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By Emily Hyde on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for class but I read and was amazed. I had planned on selling it but this book is staying on my shelf. Was delivered in a timely manner as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well constructed and researched. This is one of the better books about the youth wing of the civil rights movement.
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