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

by Isabel Wilkerson (Author)

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3,2091282,916 (4.44)433
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)
Member:shabay3
Title:The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
Authors:Isabel Wilkerson (Author)
Info:Vintage (2011), Edition: Reprint, 640 pages
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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

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» See also 433 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
Finally had my second library hold come through so I could finish the last 50 pages, and I'm glad I held out. This is a really remarkable piece of journalism and writing. Aside from the enormous breadth of the story Wilkerson is telling—about the deep injustices of the Jim Crow South, this enormous migration of people north and west, the circumstances they had to adjust to once they got where they were going, and the steady but slow progress of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s, all playing out together—she humanizes these big histories by telling the detailed stories of three individuals who migrated from the South in different decades. The fact that she pulled off such a multilayered account so well, with a pitch-perfect rhythm swinging between micro and macro—and that she communicated the horror of the situations folks were escaping without being melodramatic—impressed the hell out of this writer. It's a balancing act of journalism and it feels seamless. And I learned a lot about a sweeping piece of American history. ( )
4 vote lisapeet | Sep 26, 2020 |
What a fantastic read. I was aware of the Great Migration but Wilkerson brings the stories of three people and lots of other stories and histories to vivid life. Especially in our current time of finally looking at racial justice and injustice, it is a deeply thoughtful and insightful book that made me think of what has happened in this country, not in the distant past, but in my own lifetime.
  amyem58 | Sep 20, 2020 |
This book documents that migration of southern Blacks to the North from 1915 to 1970, focusing on three life stories involving individuals who moved North. This is a really solid work of non-fiction, written in 2010; well written and researched.
It is a fairly long book,but easy to read. My one quibble with the book is sthat there were a number of cases when she repeated herself, I do think some of the writing could have been tightened up.
I am glad that I finally read this book (we read it for my other book group); lots of insights into the lives of southern Blacks before and after the great migration.

There are also some great chapter headings, as in this quote from [[James Baldwin]]

"We cannot escape our origins, however hard we might try, these origins contain the key---could we but find it--to all that we later become." ( )
  banjo123 | Aug 23, 2020 |
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin

The above quote sums up the epic true story of many southern Black migrants during the Great Migration. The hopes, fears, joys, and traumas in the lives of three amazing individuals illustrate a major missing part of American history.

This is the best book I've read in the last five years. There are not enough stars to give this book justice. ( )
  nfulks32 | Jul 17, 2020 |
This is one of the best-written non fiction books I've ever read. It uses the story of three lives to trace the lives of so many hundreds more. I can't summarize how beautifully important this is, but there's just as many differences as similarities in the book—Southern Jim Crow life, migration itself, and life as black Southern migrants in cities outside the South. One thing you'll learn is that migrants often didn't see themselves as part of a migration. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (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.
added by ArrowStead | editEntertainment Weekly, Tina Jordan (Sep 10, 2010)
 
Not since Alex Haley's Roots has there been a history of equal literary quality where the writing surmounts the rhythmic soul of fiction, where the writer's voice sings a song of redemptive glory as true as Faulkner's southern cantatas.
added by ArrowStead | editSan Francisco Examiner
 
The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover the full half century of the Great Migration....Wilkerson combines impressive research...with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.
added by ArrowStead | editThe Wall Street Journal
 

» 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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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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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.
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