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Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

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Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North Cover

ISBN13: 9780812970388
ISBN10: 0812970381
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sweet Land of Liberty is Thomas J. Sugrues epic account of the abiding quest for racial equality in states from Illinois to New York, and of how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight down South. Sugrues panoramic view sweeps from the 1920s to the present-more than eighty of the most decisive years in American history. He uncovers the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters in the North; the untold history of struggles against Jim Crow schools in northern towns; the dramatic story of racial conflict in northern cities and suburbs; and the long and tangled histories of integration and black power. Filled with unforgettable characters and riveting incidents, and making use of information and accounts both public and private, such as the writings of obscure African American journalists and the records of civil rights and black power groups, Sweet Land of Liberty creates an indelible history.

About the Author

Thomas J. Sugrue is a historian at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is currently Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of History and Sociology. Sugrues first book, The Origins of the Urban Crisis, won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History, the Presidents Book Award of the Social Science History Association, the Philip Taft Prize in Labor History, and the Urban History Association Prize for Best Book in North American Urban History. He has also published essays and reviews in The Washington Post, The Nation, London Review of Books, Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Detroit Free Press.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kathryn Sipp, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Kathryn Sipp)
If you’re holding on to the belief that we currently live in a post-racial America, you should stop reading this.

Still with me? Good.

I love a book that teaches me something new, and Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (Thomas J. Sugrue) did just that. The concept of ‘hate strikes’—moments where, due to racial desegregation, white workers walked off the job en masse—for example. I also like to learn that academics have coined terms for things that I’ve experienced, but never had a name for—’spatial mismatch,’ for the phenomenon of jobs being created in suburbs that are isolated from public transit, and therefore difficult for inner-city residents to attain.

Sugrue has written a sweeping history of the struggle against pervasive discrimination in northern cities and suburbs. An understudied topic in American history, to be sure—most histories of the civil rights movement focus on the struggle for African American freedom in the South, and most of us can remember images of the non-violent activism of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his many allies, white and black. I found it fascinating to read about equally-compelling efforts in the North, especially the campaigns for jobs (“Don’t Shop Where You Can’t Work”) and housing.

It’s also interesting to read, in the final chapters, his analysis of why whitefolks in the US have such different perspectives on things like affirmative action and welfare reform than African Americans do, even though progress has been made. Hint–the continued prevalence of white-only, or mostly-white suburbs and schools, and the correlating lack of understanding of the devastation of federal disinvestment from our central cities has something to do with it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812970388
Author:
Sugrue, Thomas J.
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Sugrue, Thomas
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights
Subject:
African American Studies-Black Heritage
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-PP B/W PHOTO SECTION
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
8.02x5.22x1.50 in. 1.14 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » African American Studies » Civil Rights Movement
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

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