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This book was a meticulous study into how blacks were treated in the north after about the 1890's when much of the gains made after emancipation began to reverse themselves and blacks, although free, found themselves in encreasinly hostile territory as a result of white backlash. Primary documents along with first hand accounts of whites living during the time solidify the authors claims. It would be better to listen to this along with the actual book inorder that one may refer to the extensive notes that are not in the audio version.
This book is inportant in that it helps us remember exactly how racist we were and may still be. Many people have a cartoonish view of what racism is, that it must be overt and blatant to qualify. However, although racism was quite overt in the period covered in this book, one can see how racism became more covert and subtle in recent times and how it hides in the structural and institutional realities today.
A book not for the faint of heart.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
This is perhaps the best oral account and history of American racial shame. From former presidents to the American businesses, Loewen exposed the U.S. for atonement. This audiotape will make modern day racists look more like holocaust denials. Throughtout this audiotape, Loewen used facts, not assumption to buttress his objective point of views.
Sundown Towns is a must read for anyone--both Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans who are seeking self-liberation.
This tape will make you cry, and proud at the same time. We (as Americans) have a long way to go.
Loewen, thank you!
19 of 23 people found this review helpful
I was interested in this book, having read another James Loewen book. However, this needs some serious editing to make it something you can finish. I must confess to having got bored with it, and considering the serious point he is making that doesn't make me feel good about myself.
Sometimes you can make a better point by highlighting typical examples, rather than just endless lists. This takes away from the tragic nature of the way non whites have been treated in the USA of the past (and how this impacts the present and future). It is like listening to a lecture from your dad who just keeps saying 'and another thing'
As I haven't managed to get past the first few chapters I may have to eat my words if I ever get to the end of the book. Given the serious subject matter I feel awful giving this such a low rating. It is something you feel you should know about but do they have to make it so dull?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful