The Shadows of Youth by Andrew B. Lewis
The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation

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Synopsis

Through the lives of Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Bob Moses, Bob Zellner, Julian Bond, Marion Barry, John Lewis, and their contemporaries, The Shadows of Youth provides a carefully woven group biography of the activists who—under the banner of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee—challenged the way Americans think about civil rights, politics, and moral obligation in an unjust democracy. A wealth of original sources and oral interviews allows the historian Andrew B. Lewis to recover the sweeping narrative of the civil rights movement, from its origins in the youth culture of the 1950s to the near present. The teenagers who spontaneously launched sit-ins across the South in the summer of 1960 became the SNCC activists and veterans without whom the civil rights movement could not have succeeded. The Shadows of Youth replaces a story centered on the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. with one that unearths the cultural currents that turned a disparate group of young adults into, in Nash’s term, skilled freedom fighters. Their dedication to radical democratic possibility was transformative. In the trajectory of their lives, from teenager to adult, is visible the entire arc of the most decisive era of the American civil rights movement, and The Shadows of Youth for the first time establishes the centrality of their achievement in the movement’s accomplishments.
 

About Andrew B. Lewis

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Andrew B. Lewis teaches history at Wesleyan University. His books include Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table: A Documentary History of the Civil Rights Movement, with Julian Bond.
 
Published October 27, 2009 by Hill and Wang. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, War. Non-fiction

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Lewis profiles such now-famed figures as Julian Bond, who tried to work within the system even as the system tried to ignore his existence, and Stokely Carmichael, who would become “a revolutionary celebrity, a sort of living Che Guevara T-shirt, all symbolism and no substantive power.” All faced...

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Publishers Weekly

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Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged.

Jul 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Shadows of Youth: The Rem...

Red Room

As debates about racial equality continue across the United States, despite (or perhaps because of) the ethnicity of President Barack Obama, a history professor leavens the conversation with a remarkable book .

Nov 08 2009 | Read Full Review of The Shadows of Youth: The Rem...

Red Room

Andy Lewis has taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Richmond, and Hamilton College and been a fellow at Harvard University, National Academy of Education, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Oct 27 2009 | Read Full Review of The Shadows of Youth: The Rem...

Red Room

Andy Lewis has taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Richmond, and Hamilton College and been a fellow at Harvard University, National Academy of Education, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Nov 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Shadows of Youth: The Rem...

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