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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh new history of Civil Rights, November 15, 2009
By 
Collegetown Reader "cr" (Champaign, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling underappreciated story of the civil rights movement, November 21, 2009
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars insightful look at a critical force in the civil rights movement, May 5, 2013
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Well constructed and researched. This is one of the better books about the youth wing of the civil rights movement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, February 23, 2013
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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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The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation
The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation by Andrew B. Lewis (Hardcover - October 27, 2009)
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