AT THE HEART OF THE WHIRLWIND by John P. Adams

AT THE HEART OF THE WHIRLWIND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Have collar, will travel. For the past nine years Adams, a Methodist minister now heading the Department of Law, Justice, and Community Relations of his denomination's Board for Church and Society, has worked as liaison between social protest groups, church organizations, and government agencies; his specialty, crisis intervention. Here he chronicles --superficially, alas--his unique ministry as a roving troubleshooter, thrust into the maelstrom of many of the most dramatic confrontations over social justice in the Sixties and Seventies. Channeling grievances in the Detroit riots, rallying support for Fr. Groppi's fair-housing campaign, demanding a full accounting for the Kent State shootings, mediating between the armed camps at Wounded Knee, etc.: Adams' contributions to the resolution of explosive conflicts concretely bear out his focal contention that churchmen, as independent third parties committed to full equity, have a crucial role to play in promoting meaningful communication between protesters and officialdom. But this accent on shuttle diplomacy has not kept Adams from actively espousing the cause of dissidents, to the point of being arrested during the ill-fated 1968 Poor People's Campaign, when involved neutrality would have amounted to simple betrayal. His achievements and privileged encounters actually merit a fuller, richer telling than this series of quick sketches provides.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row