Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The warmth of Other Suns (edition 2010)

by Isabel Wilkerson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,046963,262 (4.4)352
Title:The warmth of Other Suns
Authors:Isabel Wilkerson
Info:Random House (2010), Edition: Advance Reader's Copy, Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Great Migration, United States, history, Jim Crow, South, 20th century, African Americans, DeacsRead, book club, ebook, NOOK, read.2012

Work details

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


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 352 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
Well researched. Stories are compelling - her 3 main subjects were fascinating reads. I learned alot reading this book. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
Reading this soon after finishing "The New Jim Crow" was a good idea. It is really an essential text for understanding the history of the United States and its current racial make-up. Plus, the writing itself is spectacular. Her emphasis on the narratives of three people who migrated from the South to the North expertly illustrates how the political is personal. It's a cliche phrase, but this really is a must read. ( )
  SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
Isabel Wilkerson, herself a child of parents who left the South for a better life up North, said she wrote this book "because of what I saw as incomplete perceptions, outside of scholarly circles, of what the Great Migration was and how and why it happened, particularly through the eyes of those who experienced it."

Knowing this will in no way prepare the reader for the scope of research and time it must have taken to produce this book. I knew that black people had moved north to escape the abuses they were subject to in the south. I had no idea how many and for how long (roughly WWI - 1970). Wilkerson chose three main people to highlight, and moves between each of their stories to illustrate different decades of migration and different experiences. She talks about them as immigrants within their own country because of the commonalities between their experiences and those of immigrants from other countries. I almost see it as a new wave of pioneers. That's just semantics, I suppose, but it does solve one issue Wilkerson cited - that many of the people she interviewed did not want to be seen as immigrants. They are American. This is their country. This is not an easy book to read. The sheer weight of the injustice and abuse that led to the relocation of millions of people is overwhelming.

It was, if nothing else, an affirmation of the power of an individual decision, however powerless the individual might appear on the surface. "In the simple process of walking away one by one, " wrote the scholar Lawrence R. Rodgers, "millions of African-American southerners have altered the course of their own, and all of America's history."
Over the decades, perhaps the wrong questions have been asked about the Great Migration. Perhaps it is not a question of whether the migrants brought good or ill to the cities they fled to or were pushed or pulled to their destinations, but a question of how they summoned the courage to leave in the first place or how they found the will to press beyond the forces against them and the faith in a country that had rejected them for so long. By their actions, they did not dream the American dream, they willed it into being by a definition of their own choosing. They did not ask to be accepted but declared themselves the Americans that perhaps few other recognized but that they had always been deep within their hearts. ( )
4 vote nittnut | Jan 31, 2017 |
May be the most powerful book I read this year. ( )
  sblock | Dec 15, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
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.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
972 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.4)
2 4
2.5 1
3 33
3.5 19
4 118
4.5 56
5 197

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,172,756 books! | Top bar: Always visible