Richard Gergel’s book should be required reading for anyone interested in the US civil rights movement.
Gergel frames his story with the 1946 beating and blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard, a young African-American soldier returning home from the Pacific war, David W. Blight said in a review published in The New York Times.
“White supremacy represents another set of ideas that Americans have never conquered. Gergel’s book is a revealing window into both the hideous racial violence and humiliation of segregation in the period immediately after World War II,” Blight said.
Gergel, a US district judge in South Carolina, has written an engrossing history, animated by the stories of several key characters.
“We live in a nation still stymied by the tradition of states’ rights and by racism. Equality, especially the right to vote, is still at the mercy of local beliefs and practices,” Blight added.