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Freedom Riders: 1961 And the Struggle for Racial Justice (Anglais) Relié – 23 mars 2006


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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.

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Revue de presse

"This is a thrilling book. It brings to life a crucial episode in the movement that ended racial brutality in the American south, giving us both the bloody drama of the Freedom Rides and the legal and political maneuvering behind the scenes."--Anthony Lewis

"Drawing on personal papers, F.B.I. files, and interviews with more than 200 participants in the rides, Arsenault brings vividly to life a defining moment in modern American history.... Rescues from obscurity the men and women who, at great personal risk, rode public buses into the South in order to challenge segregation in interstate travel.... Relates the story of the first Freedom Ride and the more than 60 that followed in dramatic, often moving detail."--Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review

"Authoritative, compelling history.... This is a story that only benefits from Mr. Arsenault's deliberately slowed-down narration. Moment by moment, he recreates the sense of crisis, and the terrifying threat of violence that haunted the first Freedom Riders, and their waves of successors, every mile of the way through the Deep South. He skillfully puts into order a bewildering series of events and leads the reader, painstakingly, through the political complexities of the time. Perhaps his greatest achievement is to show, through a wealth of detail, just how contested every inch of terrain was, and how uncertain the outcome, as the Freedom Riders pressed forward, hundreds of them filling Southern jails."--William Grimes, The New York Times

"Compelling.... A complex, vivid and sympathetic history of a civil-rights milestone."--David Cohen, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Arsenault has written what will surely become the definitive account of these nonviolent protests.... Arsenault's fine narrative shows how the Freedom Rides were important journeys on the long road to racial justice."--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"The Freedom Rides have long held an honored place in the pantheon of civil rights struggles. With this meticulous and moving book, Raymond Arsenault reminds us why. Freedom Riders is a classic American tale of courage, brutality, and the unquenchable desire for justice."--Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, winner of the 2004 National Book Award

"Arsenault deftly weaves an intricate narrative of the 1961 Freedom Rides.... Narrating the origins, the violent and turbulent rides themselves, the litigation, and the legacy, this work is similar, in its skillful crafting, to James M. McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom on the Civil War."--Library Journal

"For those interested in understanding 20th-century America, this is an essential book.... In his dramatic and exhaustive account of the Freedom Riders, Arsenault makes a persuasive case that the idealism, faith, ingenuity and incredible courage of a relatively small group of Americans--both white and black--lit a fuse in 1961 that drew a reluctant federal government into the struggle--and also enlarged, energized and solidified (more or less) the hitherto fragmented civil rights movement.... Arsenault tells the story in wonderfully rich detail. He explains how young people, knowing the brutality and danger that others had faced, nevertheless came to replace them -- in wave after wave -- to ride dangerous roads, to face lawless lawmen, to withstand the fury of racist mobs, to endure the squalor and danger of Southern jails -- even the dreaded Parchman Farm in Mississippi."--Roger Wilkins, Washington Post Book World

"The Freedom Rides brought onto the national stage the civil rights struggle and those who would play leading roles in it.... Arsenault chronicles the Freedom Rides with a mosaic of what may appear daunting detail. But delving into Arsenault's account, it becomes clear that his record of strategy sessions, church vigils, bloody assaults, mass arrests, political maneuverings and personal anguish captures the mood and the turmoil, the excitement and the confusion of the movement and the time."--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

"Freedom Riders is a gripping narrative of one of the most important and underappreciated chapters in the Civil Rights movement. Raymond Arsenault shows how, in the summer of 1961, some four hundred and fifty courageous men and women took the struggle for racial justice in this country to a new level. Using hundreds of interviews and relentless research, Arsenault shows what the Freedom Riders faced on those buses, in those jailhouses, and in the midst of frenzied mobs. Freedom Riders reminds us of the moral power of direct action in the face of hostility and, sometimes worse, complacency."--Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

"Raymond Arsenault's Freedom Riders is a major addition to the already vast literature on the American civil rights movement. More than simply a well-researched study of the 1961 freedom rides, the book is an insightful, thorough, and engaging narrative of an entire era of direct action protests to end segregation in interstate transportation. Filled with vivid portraits of courageous civil rights activists (as well as government officials and notable segregationists), Freedom Riders sheds new light on a nonviolent campaign that profoundly affected southern race relations and the nation as a whole during the decades after World War II." --Clayborne Carson, Director, Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, editor of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and author of In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s

"They were the shock troops of the civil rights movement--and more. Freedom Riders tells the stories of the men and women whose bold incursions into the Jim Crow South disrupted the static culture of the Cold War fifties and did much to set the pace and course of what followed in the 1960s. At last we have a history that captures the drama and power of this moment, cast in the fullness of the struggle for racial justice in America. It is a brilliant achievement." --Patricia A. Sullivan, Associate Professor of History, University of South Carolina, and author of Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era

"Freedom Riders is a beautifully written contribution to literature. Arsenault portrays his characters so vividly that they almost step from the page, and his rich narrative comes alive with a passion and a momentum that make it difficult to put down. Freedom Riders is also a magnificent work of history, sensitively interpreted, filled with brilliant insights, and rooted in an exceptional depth of research in archival, published, and oral sources. This book propels Raymond Arsenault into the front rank of Southern writers of fact and fiction." --Charles Joyner, Burroughs Distinguished Professor of History, Coastal Carolina University, and author of Down by the Riverside and Shared Traditions

"An exhaustively researched, gracefully written, dramatic and moving story of hundreds of dedicated men and women, black and white, who took their commitment to human rights seriously in the face of hateful, violent, and determined opposition. Raymond Arsenault has given us the gift of his humane sensitivity and his immense knowledge of the times and the lives of those whose ideals shaped late 20th century American society. On the canvas of 1960s America, he paints an unforgettable picture of young people and their elders who risked their lives for justice and offered an example to the world of humanitarian principles in action. Anyone seeking to understand the modern civil rights movement must read this book. They will be forever changed by the experience." --James Oliver Horton, Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History, George Washington University, and author of The Landmarks of African American History and co-author of Slavery and the Making of America

"Raymond Arsenault's compelling narrative pays homage to the hundreds of individuals, black and white, whose courage and conviction transformed the black freedom struggle at a critical moment in this nation's history. Not just the definitive history of the freedom rides, which it is, Freedom Riders demands a place on that short shelf of books that are required reading for students of the civil rights movement."--John Dittmer, Professor of History Emeritus at DePauw University, and author of the Bancroft Prize-winning Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

They were black and white, young and old, men and women. In the spring and summer of 1961, they put their lives on the line, riding buses through the American South to challenge segregation in interstate transport. Their story is one of the most celebrated episodes of the civil rights movement, yet a full-length history has never been written until now. In these pages, acclaimed historian Raymond Arsenault provides a gripping account of six pivotal months that jolted the consciousness of America. The Freedom Riders were greeted with hostility, fear, and violence. They were jailed and beaten, their buses stoned and firebombed. In Alabama, police stood idly by as racist thugs battered them. When Martin Luther King met the Riders in Montgomery, a raging mob besieged them in a church. Arsenault recreates these moments with heart-stopping immediacy. His tightly braided narrative reaches from the White House--where the Kennedys were just awakening to the moral power of the civil rights struggle--to the cells of Mississippi's infamous Parchman Prison, where Riders tormented their jailers with rousing freedom anthems. Along the way, he offers vivid portraits of dynamic figures such as James Farmer, Diane Nash, John Lewis, and Fred Shuttlesworth, recapturing the drama of an improbable, almost unbelievable saga of heroic sacrifice and unexpected triumph. The Riders were widely criticized as reckless provocateurs, or "outside agitators." But indelible images of their courage, broadcast to the world by a newly awakened press, galvanized the movement for racial justice across the nation. Freedom Riders is a stunning achievement, a masterpiece of storytelling that will stand alongside the finest works on the history of civil rights. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .


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Première phrase
WHEN IRENE MORGAN BOARDED A GREYHOUND BUS in Hayes Store, Virginia, on July 16, 1944, she had no inkling of what was about to happen-no idea that her trip to Baltimore would alter the course of American history. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 17 commentaires
39 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Masterpiece of Exposition and Accuracy 26 mars 2006
Par Joseph J. McDonald - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
As a participant,I can vouch for all material that related to my experiences as a Freedom Rider in the book.The writing accurately descibes the atmosphere and conditions of my experiences in Jackson City Jail and Parchman Prison Farm's maximum security unit.I was amazed by the fidelity of the narrative,it was like being transfered back in time!The short but excellent telling of the Monroe Freedom Rider Project with Robert Williams in North Carolina was enlightning for me as a participant because of the dramatic events of that disastorous Sunday.I was one of five riders not on the picket line and never heard of the experiences of those arrested downtown.I cannot recommend this book more highly for anyone interested in the civil rights movement. It should be read by anyone who is politically active in order to understand the complexity of social movements and the responsibilty of the participant to their cause and the people they are attempting to help.

We shall overcome!
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Tour de Force of Research and Writing 21 janvier 2006
Par Peter Golenbock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
In 1961 there were dozens of Freedom Rides by hundreds of riders. Ray Arsenault set out to interview as many of them as he could find, and he spent eight years tracking them down in order to write this comprehensive, highly readable and fascinating book. Before the first rides, he gives the reader a complete history of the civil rights movement, so that when the riders get on buses and head south, you understand fully how radical and dangerous it was. When a bus is burned, you're as horrified as when it happened. By the end of the book, the reader has experienced a lot of sturn and angst. Some questioned whether the rides really accomplished anything, but the author makes it clear just how important the Freedom Rides were to the civil rights movement. All without much help from the Kennedy brothers, who feared a southern backlash in the mid-term elections in 1962. A lot has changed in the last 45 years. This great book documents why.
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Thrilling Historical-Action Masterpiece 14 mars 2006
Par William Doyle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is an unqualified masterpiece treatment of an epic civil rights story. Fascinating characters, superb storytelling and a brilliant historian's perspective create a book that will amaze and move you. I read the whole thing in a mountain cabin on a vacation in New Zealand, and have rarely felt so proud to be an American. It is a story of pure guts and glory. Prepare yourself to be absouletly blown away.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent 19 décembre 2008
Par John Marvel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The subject of the Freedom Riders came up during a dinner conversation with my 38 year old son. I could not answer some of his questions which led me to this book. Raymond Arsenault starts exactly at the right place with Irene Morgan in 1944 to begin his narrative. He writes with a style that enables the reader to absorb the wealth of information on every page with ease. I highly recommend the book and it should be required reading for any serious student of the Civil Rights Movement post World War II.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent History 27 mars 2011
Par Mike B - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
An excellent narrative history of the Freedom Bus rides of 1961. This is "on the ground" history with details of the bus rides and the horrendous events surrounding them - the Anniston bus burnings, the racist beatings in Birmingham and Montgomery. Mr. Arsenault tells the story as history in the making - at the time in question the bus riders did not have the advantage of forty-five year hind-sight.

The author portrays well the myriad characters who organized these rides as well as their Southern antagonists. It still remains incomprehensible the level of hatred, racism, and intolerance that white southerners manifested to their fellow human beings. One must remember that these beatings by mobs were orchestrated by the White Southern power structure. The state and municipal (as well as the F.B.I.) gave whole-hearted backing to the Ku Klux Klan to pursue and assault the Freedom Riders. Raymond Arsenault depicts the ambivalence of the Kennedy administration wavering between the Southern state governments (to whom they owed their election victory) and the moral imperative of civil rights. Their reaction, as Arsenault suggests, was more political than moral.

Robert Kennedy was very reluctant to even send a few hundred federal marshals to protect the Freedom Riders who were besieged in a church by a mob tossing Molotov cocktails.

There are various heroes and groups portrayed - from Irene Morgan in 1944 who refused to leave the "white section" of a bus to Diane Nash who continued the Freedom Rides after their initial "failure" in Anniston and Birmingham.

It would seem that when the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) passed a law prohibiting discrimination on buses and their affiliated distributors (like restaurants, waiting rooms...) that most southern governments grudgingly started the process of de-segregation.

There is a touching passage in the epilogue where Freedom Rider Walter Bergman successfully sued the F.B.I. in 1982-83 for negligence in its failure to protect U.S. citizens. Walter Bergman suffered permanent injuries from the beating of the mob in Birmingham. The F.B.I. knew well (from its informants) that the Ku Klux Klan was gathering to meet the Freedom Riders.
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