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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of…

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration… (edition 2011)

by Isabel Wilkerson, Robin Miles (Reader)

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1,948963,498 (4.4)321
Title:The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Audio)
Authors:Isabel Wilkerson
Other authors:Robin Miles (Reader)
Info:Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged Lib Ed (2011), Edition: Library, Audio CD
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:History, Biography, Race, African Americans, The Great Migration, Migration, Audiobook, Read by Robin Miles, @Library, a2011, 2011

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

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Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
May be the most powerful book I read this year. ( )
  sblock | Dec 15, 2016 |
The word "epic" is often overused these days, but this is a story where I think the word is entirely appropriate. Isabel Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,200 people for this book, and it shows. She says in her notes that the book was "essentially three projects in one": first, oral histories of the migration of black Americans from the south to northern cities, which spanned multiple decades of the twentieth century and resulted in the relocation of more than five million people; second, narratives from three specific individuals who made this migration from different states, in different decades, to different destinations; and third, her examination of newspapers and scholarly works to give the migration greater context, and to further explore the reasons and results of such a massive move.

She manages to weave all of these threads together into one big story, to give the reader a look at the migration both on an intimate, personal level, but also on a grand scale, with a scope that covers the majority of a century.

I found this book compelling and thought-provoking. Reading 500 pages of nonfiction may sound unexciting, but fortunately this book, written as "narrative nonfiction," was not dry. It requires an investment, but by the end of it, I felt like I knew Robert Joseph Pershing Foster, Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, and George Swanson Starling, and had traveled with them over the decades of their lives and memories.

We are invited to feel their trepidation and/or excitement of embarking on a new journey, to experience the indignity and inhumanity of the Jim-Crow-era South (and sometimes the North too), and to share their heartbreaks, worries, and triumphs.

Even though this was not a focus of the book, I also found it presented several reasons for why the Civil Rights Act did not magically wipe away decades of racist laws and policies, and why the pre-Civil-Rights era is still influencing our country and our lives today. ( )
  LauraTwitchell | Dec 12, 2016 |
Wow. This was a great book, everything all the reviews said that it was. If you are even slightly tempted to read The Help, read this instead. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
Thank you Isabel
Your well written documentation of our history should be mandatory reading in every school, beginning in the sixth grade. Had I known more about my fore-family's struggle to carve a life for us in the north, I'm certain that I would have been more sensitive to their habitual need to spend every holiday amongst family, while I grumbled about amusement parks and movies.
You have given voice to the dreams (dead or fruitful) and determination that has afforded myself and others like me to live our own impossible dreams. My father would say "You live in the greatest country in the world- you can do or be anything."
Not only did he and my mother believe it, they proved it and set an example of genuine success and leadership. My very own story was told within your pages.
Special thanks to my Aunt Ruthie-Mae, who blazed the trail that would emerge a Chef, a Dentist, a Stock Analyst, a Lieutenant Colonel: USAF, an Actress, a Comedian, a CPA, a Journalist, an LPN, a First Responder, a CPFT, a Civil Engineer, countless Homemakers, Entrepreneurs and Professionals in every walk of life.
Thank you again, for helping me to understand my parents and their choices with a richer and deeper respect than ever before...SMILE!!! ( )
1 vote Madamxtra | Oct 12, 2016 |
I feel enlightened about so many things after reading this. the story - which i knew nothing about - of this great migration informs me about the struggle for lgbt etc. rights, the struggle for women's rights, and finally schooled me about what white privilege means. a deeply important book, necessary in these times. ( )
  zenhead | Aug 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up: you’ll not only learn a lot about this underappreciated part of recent America history (I see its remnants about me every day in Chicago, since I live on the South Side, perhaps the most famous destination of the Migration), but also become deeply involved in the lives of Ida Mae, George, and Robert. The ending is poignant and bittersweet, and will make you both proud of the migrants and sad about their fate. The writing is quite good (Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism—the first black woman to do so—for her work at The New York Times), and the scholarship, though thorough, is worn lightly. (The book was 15 years in the making and Wilkerson interviewed over 1200 people.) If there’s one flaw—and it’s a small one—the writing is occasionally awkward and more than occasionally repetitious, with the same facts repeated in different places. But that’s a trifle that should by no means put you off.
Wilkerson intersperses historical detail of the broader movement and the sparks that set off the civil rights era; challenging racial restrictions in the North and South; and the changing dynamics of race, class, geography, politics, and economics. A sweeping and stunning look at a watershed event in U.S. history.
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Vanessa Bush (Sep 15, 2010)
Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, uses the journeys of three of them-a Mississippi sharecropper, a Louisiana doctor, and a Florida laborer--to etch an indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in 20th-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely. A
added by sduff222 | editEntertainment Weekly, Tina Jordan (Sep 10, 2010)
Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Isabel Wilkersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burns, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobinReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was leaving the South
To fling myself into the unknown. . . .
I was taking a part of the South
To transplant in alien soil,
To see if it could grow differently.
If it could drink of new and cool rains,
Bend in strange winds,
Respond to the warmth of other suns
And, perhaps, to bloom.

- Richard Wright
To my mother and
to the memory of my father,
whose migration made me possible,
and to the millions of others like them
who dared to act upon their dreams.
First words
The night clouds were closing in on the salt licks east of the oxbow lakes along the folds in the earth beyond the Yalobusha River.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.… (more)

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