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The Children Paperback – March 30, 1999
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Every epic must have its hero, and The Children has James Lawson, a young, African American divinity student whose tactics in civil disobedience were learned at the knees of Mahatma Gandhi's followers during a three-year stint as a missionary to India. When he returned to the States and was accepted into the all-white Vanderbilt Divinity School, Lawson began teaching workshops to Nashville's African American youth designed to equip them for the equal-rights struggle, a battle Lawson believed could be won only with nonviolent tactics. Halberstam chronicles the fight against racism with the insight that comes from witnessing it first-hand. As a young journalist for the Tennessean in Nashville, he covered the rise of the civil rights movement, and in The Children he draws on many of his writings from the era. From accounts of lunch-counter sit-ins to the freedom rides, Halberstam's book covers the map of the crusade for racial equality, serving as a poignant reminder that heroes come in all ages, colors, and characters. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
One of the most admirable qualities of this superb book stems from the fact that Halberstam was in fact an eye-witness to many of the events described here, being a recent Harvard graduate who soon finds himself getting a heaping helping of ordinary racist reality in the 1950s-early 1960s American south. His interest in becoming a journalist draws him to a local city desk at an iconoclastically liberal southern paper that tolerates his naivety and cashes in on his energy and natural ability to write. Yet this is not a story in any manner about Halberstam. Rather, it is the fact that he waited so long to write about this era of his own career that makes it so mind-boggling, for he brings all of his mature powers of observation and description to bear on this story in a way that breathes fire and life into the oft-told tale, and makes each of the protagonists both more ordinary and more real.Read more ›
This is a good overview of Civil Rights through the eyes of SNCC rather than a broader based examination of the movement. Halberstam's book is quite impressive, and what I admire is the length of information he was able to attain from the vast interviews he received, largely because he had already covered and had known many of the players as a journalist covering the Civil Rights Movement. If you are just starting out or have little knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement this book would be a good starting point. Journalists make great writers because they simply know how to tell a story. Well done!
Halberstam has a way of making sense of things that might mystify most writers. He does this by creating a meaningful context and by deomonstrating meaningful connections - between actions as well as characters. There is a lot of book here, and one can easily loose sight of the story line by getting bogged down in some of the detailed digressions that he seems to love, but taken as a whole, this book makes real the mostly unremembered young heros who drug their elders kicking and screaming into the movement.
I think this is a very important book and deserves a place on any bookshelf devoted to our recent history.
The Movement's leaders were two black southern ministers, both strongly influenced by the teachings of Mahandas Gandhi. These two men, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jim Lawson, designed the framework of the mission. They stratagized like generals waging a unique war. Young college students, mostly African Americans, whose parents had sacrificed much to send them to university, were recruited as soldiers. These vulnerable and committed students were schooled in the nonviolent tradition, with workshops, such as: "Justice Without Violence" and "The New Negro In The New South." We meet these children and hear of their experiences in Nashville, Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, and many other towns and small cities all over the South. Halberstam documents the background of these young troops, their families, and struggles, growing up Black in America. He movingly describes the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, and the terrible violence of the Klan, and of ordinary citizens, steeped in bigotry, that endangered all of them. We read about the voter registration campaigns, and the founding of SNCC and CORE.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Halberstam might be the greatest history teacher of all-time. Everything I've ever read of his is 5-star material.Published 2 months ago by Von M.
One of the best books on history I have read. Took me awhile to read since the book is very huge but it was worth reading about the freedom riders which I knew very little about... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Charles Robinson
It's hard to best David Halberstam in telling history in a compelling way. This account of the heroism of young black and white college students, during the early Cicil Rights... Read morePublished 4 months ago by E. L. Davenport
Great book - well researched. Halberstam is a terrific writer and had considerable personal knowledge of this topic.Published 6 months ago by Mosdad
This is the story of the very young student leaders of the Civil Rights movement beginning in 1959 in Nashville. Read morePublished 7 months ago by dave ferree
Great book - gives an extensive background on the civil rights leaders you don't hear too much about.Published 11 months ago by Stephanie A
This book tells the stories of some of the courageous and committed young people at the heart of the civil rights movement. While Dr. Read morePublished 12 months ago by James M. Melson
Interesting to meet the actors in one of America's changing, challenging times. I wonder how those who gave so much feel following the activities of places like Cleveland, St. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Judy Kidder