To present their thesis that the urban center has become the focus of Negro American history, this historian and sociologist traverse the course of Negro life in the New World from the breakup of the early African kingdoms through the current ideological disputes in the civil rights movement. In the presentation of the early material--slavery and its aftermath until World War II--they use their gifts of summary and analysis best: the various historiographical positions are carefully digested and explained and in this way they give a sense of history's complexities. Their purpose, also, is to contribute something new to the discussion. In their zeal to align themselves with Martin Luther King's program of passive resistance, they mar their own analysis of how the ghetto must be dealt with in ways such as to give the Negro his full rights. As a survey then, this work seems more valuable.