THE SIEGE OF HARLEM by Warren Miller


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The form is a parody of the Uncle Remus tales. It is political satire in the Swiftian tradition. It is told in a series of stories by an old man to his three grandchildren -- Mboya, Ngoma and Sekou, who help to keep him on the track. He had been Sergeant of the Guard in the Black House during the country of Harlem's first, great, hard year and in direct personal contact with Lance Huggins, the leader. When the people rose up and seized Harlem, Lance nationalized the housing, exacted tolls from subways passing through Harlem's underground and signed a concordat with Columbia University. His great love was Miss Brindle who lived for love and died for lack of it because Lance was living for freedom. It all happened that first year, after which Harlem never looked back and Manhattan and the U.S. became monotonously white. This is the kind of commentary that tickles like a poke in the ribs and stings like a poke in the eye. Mr. Miller who wrote the most admired The Cool World is inventive and sure in a classically simple attack on our times.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1964
Publisher: McGraw-Hill