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Commentaire: Fine. Paperback. 2006. Originally published at $19.95.
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Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Anglais) Broché – 19 février 2007

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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

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.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 étoiles sur 5 22 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I knew many of the people in this book from my high school days on to grad school. 15 juillet 2013
Par Tobago Tim - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
A high school friend of mine took me to the CORE office in Los Angeles in about 1961. I took every opportunity to visit the office and get ideas. The people that I talked to had been Freedom Riders. Another big issue in California was equal housing opportunities. I started a CORE chapter at my college and took a group to sit-in at a developer who refused to sell homes in Dominquez Hills to non-whites. After college, I went to Vanderbilt (Nashville, TN) and ended up living across the street from Rev. Kelly Miller Smith. I joined the group from the First Baptist Church (Rev. Smith's church) for a bus ride to Montgomery, AL for the last day of the Selma - Montgomery march. Bottom line as I turn pages in this book, I am reminded of not only the Freedom Riders and the events that followed, but of a period in my life and how it connects to the story told by this book.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What Color Code Was This Revolution? 20 mars 2008
Par R. L. Huff - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In the past ten years or so we've witnessed staged "revolutions" - Orange, Green, Rose, etc. - funded around the globe by Western NGOs, toppling the chosen tyrant and installing the pro-Western liberal reformer of the moment. When it came to democratic movements within the USA, of course, the enthusiasm at home was markedly lacking.

Thus, before the age of NED or Freedom House, those who challenged entrenched tyranny in America faced real risk to life and limb, with only scattered support from the media and none from either the State Department or NGO clones. Such were the Freedom Riders, who were armed with naught but the courage of their ideals, as they embarked cross-country for the lion's den to stick their heads in his jaws.

That they ultimately prevailed is a commendation of the "American Way"; but they did so only after considerable risk, repression, and one-sided bloodshed. The "flowering of democracy" in the American South was fertilized not by the blood of tyrants but those seeking freedom. Would that such cheap imitators in Serbia, Ukraine or Lebanon - basking in Western funding and media cheerleading - have had to endure a tenth of what these brave people had to risk in the US itself.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 History at its best 19 juillet 2008
Par Lehigh History Student - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book is another great addition to the Pivotal moments in American history series. This series seeks to assess the events that led to a major paradigm shift in American history changing the country in some way. The argument here is that the Freedom Rides established a basis for social justice that had not been achieved previously. With this topic the author does an excellent job of putting a human face on the struggle the riders went through and you can feel the palpable hatred that the riders experienced and the racism is simply nauseating. It is unbelievable how clear the author captures it and not only for the hate towards the riders but the strict values that held this racism in place. What many people saw as right was the destruction of the freedom riders. The author does an excellent job at explaining the dichotomy in the country and showing how the Freedom Rides changed the perception of everyone towards social justice issues. For the first time white and black worked together not always seamlessly but with greater fervor than ever before. The direct action campaigns shifted focuses on what was happening the country creating new challenges. The book is extensively researched and relies not only on newspapers but countless interviews and the author should be commended for the work he put in. An excellent book to read and highly recommended.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Read this book 15 juin 2017
Par adam stuhlman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Very important to understanding the contribution of people who fought for freedom and wouldn't back down to hatred at a critical moment in our nation's history! Well done!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Loved it! 24 janvier 2014
Par Expat4ever - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
After hearing Oprah speak about the "The Butler" and the Freedom Riders I decided to learn more. I was completely unaware of this period in US History as the focus when I was young was the shame of Apartheid in South Africa. I'd heard of Rosa Parkes but not the Freedom Riders. It is incredible to think such struggles took place in such recent history, and to some extent continue today. What strength the Freedom Riders had. This book should be part of school curriculum's all over the world!
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