Greenberg (Race Relations in American History, not reviewed), former head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, recounts the revolutionary and riveting saga of the fight for civil rights in the 1950s and '60s. The author discusses how he, a Jew from the Bronx, dedicated most of his professional life to the advancement of civil rights for blacks. In an expressive and often humorous style, Greenberg recalls the days of segregation, when black and white civil rights attorneys often feared for their lives. The book's strongest points include a full, human portrait of the late Thurgood Marshall, who headed the LDF prior to becoming a federal judge and then a Supreme Court justice. Greenberg brings many of the characters involved in the civil rights struggle to life with personal anecdotes while explaining the issues of constitutional law in a way that laypeople can understand. He provides perspective on the role of Jews in the civil rights movement, saying that it has often been overstated. His account of the drama leading up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision is particularly compelling. He also does not hesitate to criticize President Eisenhower for, in his view, failing to provide strong leadership in integration. Greenberg fully grasps the irony of a protest aimed at him when he was asked to teach a civil rights course at Harvard: The Black Law Students Association there objected to the notion of a white man—also a Jew—teaching such a class. Greenberg, who went on to teach law at Columbia, is neither self-righteous nor sanctimonious as he delineates how legal changes engendered by the NAACP LDF affected daily life in America. Yet, despite past victories, he is only too aware of the continuing, desperate plight of the African-American underclass.

Pub Date: May 17, 1994

ISBN: 0-465-01518-2

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1994

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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