{2015 New Releases} Week 8: Feb 16-22

Eye On the Struggle by James McGrath MorrisEye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by:James McGrath Morris
Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris brings into focus the riveting life of one of the most significant yet least known figures of the civil rights era—pioneering journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press”—elevating her to her rightful place in history at last.

For decades, Ethel Lois Payne has been hidden in the shadows of history. Now, James McGrath Morris skillfully illuminates this ambitious, influential, and groundbreaking woman’s life, from her childhood growing up in South Chicago to her career as a journalist and network news commentator, reporting on some of the most crucial events in modern American history.

Morris draws on a rich and untapped collection of Payne’s personal papers documenting her private and professional affairs. He combed through oral histories, FBI documents, and newspapers to fully capture Payne’s life, her achievements, and her legacy. He introduces us to a journalist who covered such events as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock school desegregation crisis, the service of black troops in Vietnam, and Henry Kissinger’s 26,000-mile tour of Africa.

A self-proclaimed “instrument of change” for her people, Payne broke new ground as the Washington correspondent for the Chicago Defender. She publicly prodded President Dwight D. Eisenhower to support desegregation, and her reporting on legislative and judicial civil rights battles enlightened and activated black readers across the nation. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized Payne’s seminal role by presenting her with a pen used in signing the Civil Rights Act. In 1972, she became the first female African American radio and television commentator on a national network, working for CBS. Her story mirrors the evolution of our own modern society.

Inspiring and instructive, moving and comprehensive, Eye on the Struggle illuminates this extraordinary woman and her achievements, and reminds us of the power one person has to transform our lives and our world.
Release:2/17/15
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Kindle Releases
Bearing the Cross by David J. GarrowBearing the Cross by:David J. Garrow
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize: The definitive biography of Martin Luther King Jr.

In this monumental account of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., professor and historian David Garrow traces King’s evolution from young pastor who spearheaded the 1955–56 bus boycott of Montgomery, Alabama, to inspirational leader of America’s civil rights movement. Based on extensive research and more than seven hundred interviews, with subjects including Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, and Coretta Scott King, Garrow paints a multidimensional portrait of a charismatic figure driven by his strong moral obligation to lead—and of the toll this calling took on his life. Bearing the Cross provides a penetrating account of King’s spiritual development and his crucial role at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose protest campaigns in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, led to enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This comprehensive yet intimate study reveals the deep sense of mission King felt to serve as an unrelenting crusader against prejudice, inequality, and violence, and his willingness to sacrifice his own life on behalf of his beliefs. Written more than twenty-five years ago, Bearing the Cross remains an unparalleled examination of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy of the civil rights movement.
Release:2/17/15
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Protest at Selma by David J GarrowProtest at Selma by:David J. Garrow
A thorough and insightful account of the historic 1965 civil rights protest at Selma, Alabama, from the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography Bearing the Cross.

Vivid descriptions of violence and courageous acts fill David Garrow’s account of the momentous 1965 protest at Selma, Alabama, in which the author illuminates the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in organizing the demonstrations that led to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Beyond a mere narration of events, Garrow provides an in-depth look at the political strategy of King and of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He explains how King’s awareness of media coverage of the protests—especially reports of white violence against peaceful African American protestors—would elicit sympathy for the cause and lead to dramatic legislative change. Garrow’s analysis of these tactics and of the news reports surrounding these events provides a deeper understanding of how civil rights activists utilized a nonviolent approach to achieve success in the face of great opposition and ultimately effected monumental political change.
Release:2/17/15
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The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. by David J. GarrowThe FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. by:David J. Garrow
The author of Bearing the Cross, the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr., exposes the government’s massive surveillance campaign against the civil rights leader.

When US attorney general Robert F. Kennedy authorized a wiretap of Martin Luther King Jr.’s phones by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he set in motion one of the most invasive surveillance operations in American history. Sparked by informant reports of King’s alleged involvement with communists, the FBI amassed a trove of information on the civil rights leader. Their findings failed to turn up any evidence of communist influence, but they did expose sensitive aspects of King’s personal life that the FBI went on to use in its attempts to mar his public image.

Based on meticulous research into the agency’s surveillance records, historian David Garrow illustrates how the FBI followed King’s movements throughout the country, bugging his hotel rooms and tapping his phones wherever he went, in an obsessive quest to destroy his growing influence. Garrow uncovers the voyeurism and racism within J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI while unmasking Hoover’s personal desire to destroy King. The spying only intensified once King publicly denounced the Vietnam War, and the FBI continued to surveil him until his death.

The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly demonstrates an unprecedented abuse of power by the FBI and the government as a whole.

Release:2/17/15
Click the Cover to purchase.

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