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Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (African American History (Penguin)) Paperback – February 2, 1988

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Assisted by the production team for the PBS-TV series on which this book is based, Washington Post national correspondent Williams recounts in detail the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. PW noted that he "singles out the stories of the little-known activists."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YAEyes On the Prize is an outstanding contribution to the memory of the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement. Williams brings the events of the nonviolent civil rights years to life with photographs and lucid text, as well as brief asides interspersed throughout to provide participants' perspectives. Written in conjunction with the production team of the PBS-TV series of the same name, the book uses still photography, which provides different insights than the film footage of the same events shown on television. While the two could be used together, the book stands solidly alone as one of the best available summaries of the period. Dorcas Hand, Episcopal High School, Bellaire
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: African American History (Penguin)
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 2, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140096531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140096538
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. J. Kwashnak VINE VOICE on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By now the number of volumes written on the Civil Rights Movement could fill whole libraries. Yet fifteen years later, this book still stands as one of the best introduction to the early years of the movement. Books such as Taylor Branch's Pillar of Fire and Parting the Waters may cover the same era of 1954 to 1965; this book is a good introduction for those who may be intimidated by Branch's comprehensive volumes. Rather than trying to cover everything, the book takes its cues from the documentary series and examines a select set of pivotal moments of the movement: school desegregation, the Montgomery bus boycott, the march on Washington, the Selma to Montgomery march and others. Each chapter delves into the story of the events, but also fleshes out the areas between these momentous events, both telling the background and hearing the experiences of those there, in their own words. The book is readable, not the dry tone that many associate with history books. But most of all it gives the reader the chance to delve into an important part of American history in the second half of the 20th century. This is an excellent book that should be picked up by anyone wanting to get a sense of where America was moving in these pivotal eleven years.
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Format: Paperback
The book reads smoothly and contains unique ethnographic information. The book follows a chronological order of events in the civil rights movement. Readers who are interested in an eye witness account of the movement between 1954 and 1965 should purchase this book. It would be appropriate for a high school educational setting.
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Format: Paperback
Great book ! I was born in 1957 so I wanted to learn about the Civil Rights Movement as it was when I was growing up. This is not only an excellent history, but an incredibly interesting story, and a shocking testament to the injustices the Black people have suffered in America. I learned a lot and gained some insight into this issue.
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If I taught 20th century history I would include " Eyes On the Prize" as a key part of my course. High schools, colleges and Church groups should also use this book to guide any discussions on racism and the hisotry of the civil rights era. An excellent chronology with the necessary detail that lays out the start of the Civil rights journey through 1968. Well written, easily understood and based on facts this book identifies the long difficult fight for equality. The underlying truth that makes this book so good is that those who marched, conducted sit-ins and died used the US Constitution as the basis to right the wrongs of inequlaity and racism.
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By aya on December 4, 2014
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i especially like this book because, without bashing anybody, i think it allows those of us most often subject to the highlight reels, to get a glimpse at the humanity of the historical figures that we tend to glamorize. and that's certainly not to diminish anybody's accomplishments. but there's a certain kind of comfort and appreciation and hope in KNOWING that uncertainty and imperfection and HUMANness precludes GREATness... too.
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Loved this book. It is a straight forward account of the Civil Rights Movement and it uses many primary sources to accommodate the narrative. There is also a documentary based on this as well. It too is very good. Im a visual reader and this book has many good visuals to help the reader understand the Civil Rights Movement.
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Great book..very detailed,..good to use as references to research and project papers..i would recommend it to all who looking for some insight on events and people who helped shape and change American
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Format: Paperback
I have never seen the PBS series but I enjoyed the book which gives a good account of what happened in the years 54-65. Of course it misses things but it will give you the basics.

Only annoying thing are the little interviews with people in the middle of the text so you have to flip back and forth.

Pictures are great
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