A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was...



A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia.

Little-remembered today is the story of the late-1950s closure of the Prince Edward public schools and the fate of its black children, who were either deprived of education or separated from their families and dispersed into other states. At a commemoration 50 years later, journalist Green and other participants were told how “the Prince Edward story is one of the most exciting pieces of American history, in part because the struggle of young people against discrimination resulted in a Supreme Court ruling.” That ruling was Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1964), which ordered the schools to integrate. Despite the ruling, however, another 22 years would pass before the county’s all-white academy was integrated. While local black students had contributed to Brown with their 1951 school strike, which they named their “Manhattan Project,” Green reminds us that their segregationist neighbors believed the integration would contribute to making “the people of America a mongrel nation.” Well before integration became an order, they were ready to padlock the schools and divert resources to their race-based replacement. In 2008, Green, a graduate of the whites-only academy, discovered that her grandfather had taken a lead role in the project from the beginning, in order “to maintain the purity of the white race” and avoid the raising of “half-black, half-white babies…nobody wants.” The author movingly chronicles her discovery of the truth about her background and her efforts to promote reconciliation and atonement. Her own experience in a racially mixed marriage provides a counterpoint.

A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about.

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-226867-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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