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His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope (2020)
de Jon Meacham
No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.
For a specific focused biography this is a great account of John Lewis and the civil rights movement. ( )
John Lewis' beatdown on the Edmund Pettis Bridge played on a loop on cable news after his death in 2020. The same film broke into network programming h0urs after it happened in 1965, and change came with the shock of recognizing what we could do to each other. Now it takes home confinement for us to sit with the casual cruelty caught weekly on citizen videos and police body cams, yet we seem less able to rouse ourselves. In recounting Lewis' student protests, Meacham shows the depths of his resilience (in one lunch counter sit-in, Lewis is locked in a Krystal hamburger stand and fumigated) and his simple faith in taking that one next step. Lewis is telling us, just march on.
There is no way to go wrong with John Lewis as the subject of a book that’s written by a writer as good as Jon Meacham. No disappointments here. John Lewis was a giant of a man and Meacham has done an excellent job of getting my attention quickly and keeping it through to the very last page. After I had marked the most significant events, and the finest bits of Meacham’s writing with Post-Its, I was left with a book that closely resembled a colorful porcupine. I admire books like this that educate and bring history to life, where the reasons that drove events forward are evident, the people are fleshed out, and we are truly involved with the past, we’re far beyond just reading a collection of dates and names.
Most of us have seen the footage of John Lewis being beaten and clubbed to the ground near that infamous bridge in Selma many times over. Far fewer people knew just how many times that same John Lewis was beaten, abused, and jailed over the many long years during which he was protesting with his body for people’s rights. When many other people involved in the civil rights struggle started to doubt nonviolence as the strongest way to proceed, John Lewis never wavered from that path. While only in his mid-twenties, he quickly became known by Martin Luther King Jr. and many of the others at the heart of the movement, as well as some in the media.
He came by many of his beliefs just from being a very religious man, and the great-grandson of a slave. I learned a great deal more about the non-violence training that so many protesters received before putting their bodies within the reach of fists and clubs, hoses and dogs, and the raw, seething hatred of those people who saw him as more savage than civilized. I had known about MLK’s involvement, but I hadn’t been aware of how essential James Lawson had been with a structured way of teaching so many about nonviolence.
This book is the result of several decades of personal interviews with Lewis, nearly up to the day of his death. As a young boy he always wanted to be a minister, and Meacham had great fun relating the story about how the young Lewis would preach to his chickens. All his life, Lewis maintained a strong belief in God, humanity, and the importance of hope in our lives. Believing in humanity and hope seems perfectly suited for a good, honest politician. It’s harder in these times to put good and honest together when dealing with the world of politics, but that’s why John Lewis was always a giant who lived by his towering faith.
Weeks after his 80th birthday in March 2020, much thinner because of the cancer that was ravaging his body, John Lewis said the following. ”If the young people of the South—young black people, young women, young men—could change the world then,” he’d say. “then we can do it again, now.” The faith and the hope that had brought him so far in his life, was still strong within the man, even in Selma on yet another anniversary of that fateful day near the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
I challenge anyone to read this book and not be moved and maybe inspired by John Lewis’s life and words. People of his character don’t come along often, and we’re so fortunate that Jon Meacham was able to bring him forward so clearly with his fine writing. My late wife and I, always held John Lewis as a hero, and after reading this book, I’m sure that even more people will feel the same way.
I knew John Lewis was a hero for civil rights. I knew he marched at Selma. I knew President Obama credited men like him for paving the way.
What I didn’t know was how instrumental a figure John Lewis was in the fight for civil rights. I didn’t appreciate the difficulty of that fight. I didn’t fully comprehend John Lewis’s history, beliefs and motivations. We, Americans, were fortunate to have him in our history.
Soon - I hope - Congress will be asked to pass a John Lewis Voting Rights Act. John Meacham’s book should be required reading for all of those elected to decide on passage.
This is a fine biography, but it doesn't add much to Lewis's own memoir. "Walking from the Wind," from which Meacham quotes liberally, is a powerful story, and I would recommend that everyone read that instead.
> "Oh, God, yes, I dream about those days," Lewis said shortly before he succumbed to cancer and died at home in Atlanta on Friday, July 17, 2020. "I dream of marching, of singing. I hear the music of the movement in my dreams, and the sounds of our feet on the pavement, one after another. I don't have nightmares—I don't relive the beatings in my dreams, at least not that I ever remember. I'm not sure why. Maybe in my mind the good forces are always at work. There is a power of the mind to believe and think on the higher drama of it, the higher things of it, the light, not the dark. We truly believed that we were on God's side, and in spite of everything—the beatings, the bombings, the burnings—God's truth would prevail. Sometimes I'll dream of a march, of moving forward, of light and warmth and happiness. And then I'll wake up and think, 'Oh, that was just a dream.' But you have to believe that it can be real, that it can be more than a dream."
> in 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois had captured something of what Lewis was experiencing. "One ever feels his two-ness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder," Du Bois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk.
> The fury of the segregationist South was now focused not only on black communities and their allies in the streets and in the stores but on the Kennedys, who had failed, in the prevailing white view, to shut down the civil rights movement altogether. "I hope that every drop of blood that's spilled he tastes in his throat," the mayor of Birmingham said of Robert Kennedy, "and I hope he chokes on it."
> Yet he lost, and he hated it. "John Patterson out-nigguhed me," Wallace was reputed to have remarked to a group of pols at Montgomery's Jefferson Davis Hotel after he lost. "And boys, I'm not goin' to be out-nigguhed again." ( Wallace denied this oft-repeated anecdote ever afterward.) "He used to be anything but a racist," an old political associate recalled, "but with all his chattering, he managed to talk himself into it."
> "The black man in America," Malcolm said, "is the only one who is encouraged to be nonviolent… Never do you find white people encouraging other whites to be nonviolent. Whites idolize fighters… Everyone loves a fighter. They respect a fighter. But at the same time that they admire these fighters, they encourage the so-called Negro in America to get his desires fulfilled with a sit-in stroke or a passive approach or a love-your-enemy approach or pray for those who despitefully use you. This is insane." … Why, Malcolm continued, should a black man "wait for the Supreme Court to give him what a white man has when he's born? Why should he wait for the Congress or the Senate or the president to tell him that he should have this, when if he's a man the same as that man is a man, he doesn't need any president, he doesn't need any Congress, he doesn't need any Supreme Court, he doesn't need anybody but himself to bring about that which is his, if he is a man?" Baldwin took a different view. "Malcolm X wants us to act like men," Baldwin said. Yet for Baldwin, masculinity and heroism were not synonymous with the capacity for violence.
> Goldwater declared, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice…[and] moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." San Francisco signaled a rightward move in the Republican Party away from the temperate conservatism of Eisenhower. The tone of the GOP convention was such that Jackie Robinson, until that point a loyal Republican, remarked that being black at the Cow Palace that week gave him "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany." Nothing about the politics of 1964,
> Obama got it: The lesson of Lewis was that sustained personal witness to injustice, borne in the public arena where opinions are shaped, laws enacted, and reality changed, is vital.
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER . An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present-from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author ofThe Soul of America NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST ANDCOSMOPOLITAN John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature." From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family's chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it-his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis's commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God-and an unshakable belief in the power of hope. Meacham calls Lewis "as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century." A believer in the injunction that one should love one's neighbor as oneself, Lewis was arguably a saint in our time, risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful. In many ways he brought a still-evolving nation closer to realizing its ideals, and his story offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)328.73 — Social sciences Political Science The legislative process North America United States
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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