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.
on March 31, 2003
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.
on May 9, 2011
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.
on December 4, 2014
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.
on April 23, 2011
I read `Eyes on the Prize' a few months ago and I was blown away. Juan has captured both sides of the Civil Rights struggle from 1954 through 1965. Juan utilizes his balanced journalistic skills painting a picture of the atmosphere surrounding that historic movement in American history. Juan presents us the opportunity to feel what the civil rights leaders and the foot soldiers experienced during those troubling times. These people included college students, lawyers and everyday average citizens who were brave enough to fight for what was written in the U.S. constitution and the Bill of Rights. He also presented those who wanted to keep the Jim Crow segregationist laws intact. These were governors, congressmen, local business men, law enforcement people and average citizens as well. It's refreshing to view this revolutionary change in American culture from the segregationist point of view. History should always show us both sides and what motivated them. I knew about the major players in the struggle. Juan explained the civil rights fighter's motivation, strategies, personal terror and living to see President Johnson sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I recommend this book to everyone. Juan's book is one of the outstanding books covering modern American history.