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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration


The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Cover

ISBN13: 9780679763888
ISBN10: 0679763880
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Reading Group Guide

The introduction, discussion questions, and suggested further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of The Warmth of Other Suns, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson’s magisterial history of America’s Great Migration. A New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year and National Book Critics Circle Award Winner.

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seatower, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by seatower)
An incredibly well-written, spell-binding book. The author, Isabel Wilkerson spent years researching and thousands of hours interviewing people nationwide in order to write this excellent non-fiction book. The migrations played a major part in our national demography and everyone should be aware of this historical anomaly. History, personal memoirs, and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all human beings are treasures this book lends to all readers.
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LabLuv, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by LabLuv)
This nonfiction book reads like a historical novel as the author follows the lives of three African Americans who sought a better life in the North in the early 1900s. Through these people we learn not only of the hardships of life in a segregated South, but how they faced new and similar challenges in the North. Much has been written before about the Great Migration, but here we are presented with the complete extent of the movement and its after effects.
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aspalt, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by aspalt)
The previously untold story of the great internal migration of African-Americans from the Jim Crow south to northern cities from the 1920's to the 60's. It is told through the experiences of three very different but typical families against the background of the whole movement. Placing this migration in the context of external (e.g. from Europe) migrations to a new land of opportunity and peril is enlightening. Reads like a novel but well documented.
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Product Details

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Wilkerson, Isabel
Vintage Books
United States - 20th Century
African American Studies-Black Heritage
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
A &mdash;<i>Entertainment Weekly<br></i><br>&ldquo

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 640 pages Vintage Books - English 9780679763888 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Warmth of Other Suns is a fascinating epic narrative of the Great Migration by the brilliant and beautiful Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson.

"Staff Pick" by ,

From 1915 to 1970, almost six million African Americans left the South in search of better economic opportunities and a higher quality of life. It was one of the largest internal migrations in history and had a profound effect on the culture and politics of this country. To better understand this monumental yet underdocumented event, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson spent 15 years and interviewed more than 1,000 people researching and writing The Warmth of Other Suns. In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, Wilkerson gives the epic scale of the Great Migration a human angle by focusing on three individuals to represent each of the three main migratory routes. The Warmth of Other Suns is an illuminating and riveting account, filled with stories that are finely crafted, meticulously researched, and immensely readable.

"Review" by , "A landmark piece of nonfiction...sure to hold many surprises for readers of any race or experience....A mesmerizing book that warrants comparison to The Promised Land, Nicholas Lemann's study of the Great Migration's early phase, and Common Ground, J. Anthony Lukas's great, close-range look at racial strife in Boston....[Wilkerson's] closeness with, and profound affection for, her subjects reflect her deep immersion in their stories and allow the reader to share that connection."
"Review" by , "The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover the full half-century of the Great Migration....Wilkerson combines impressive research...with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth."
"Review" by , "[A] massive and masterly account of the Great Migration....A narrative epic rigorous enough to impress all but the crankiest of scholars, yet so immensely readable as to land the author a future place on Oprah's couch."
"Review" by , "[A] deeply affecting, finely crafted and heroic book....Wilkerson has taken on one of the most important demographic upheavals of the past century — a phenomenon whose dimensions and significance have eluded many a scholar — and told it through the lives of three people no one has ever heard of....This is narrative nonfiction, lyrical and tragic and fatalist. The story exposes; the story moves; the story ends. What Wilkerson urges, finally, isn't argument at all; it's compassion. Hush, and listen."
"Review" by , "The Warmth of Other Suns is epic in its reach and in its structure. Told in a voice that echoes the magic cadences of Toni Morrison or the folk wisdom of Zora Neale Hurston's collected oral histories, Wilkerson's book pulls not just the expanse of the migration into focus but its overall impact on politics, literature, music, sports — in the nation and the world."
"Review" by , "One of the most lyrical and important books of the season."
"Review" by , "[An] extraordinary and evocative work."
"Review" by , "Scholarly but very readable, this book, for all its rigor, is so absorbing, it should come with a caveat: Pick it up only when you can lose yourself entirely."
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