From a talented novelist, an admiring biography of this leading African-American. In detailing Jackson's rise from working-class origins to presidential candidate, Wilkinson also summarizes the history of the civil-rights movement. Like McKissack in Jesse Jackson: Keep Hope Alive (1989), she presents her subject as a role model, someone who makes an occasional mistake (""Hymietown"") but in general overcomes obstacles on the road to success with courage, ability, and a song moral sense. Wilkinson pays particular attention to Jackson's early life, quotes him liberally to demonstrate his punchy, oratorical style (""Down with dope. Up with hope!""), and emphasizes his organizational and motivational skills more than his personality or family life. Adequate b&w photos plus a scattering of pointless ink drawings; very good bibliography; index.