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While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

More important every year

When I taught a course in the 1960s for college students, I made the Civil Rights Movement, including all of the events and documents included here, equal to about 1/3 of the course, in addition to Vietnam and the student/counter culture. Even 10-15 years ago, most of t...
When I taught a course in the 1960s for college students, I made the Civil Rights Movement, including all of the events and documents included here, equal to about 1/3 of the course, in addition to Vietnam and the student/counter culture. Even 10-15 years ago, most of the material was news to students, and today the popularity of The Help, an extremely mild version of the racist culture of the south in that time, has been a huge jolt to not only the young, but older people who were only marginally aware even in the 60s of what the problems were like in the black community aside from the desire to vote and to end segregation in spite of white southern resistance to those things. This book is even more important than The Help; it describes the atmosphere of fear that surrounded southern black communities, and puts the main event, the bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, in that context. It continues past that time to detail not only continuing racism and violence, but the terrible aftermath those things created for the participants. Carolyn Maull McKinstry speaks about her PTSD and her emotional problems for many years after she came within a few feet of death that September in 1963. Just as I did in class, she splices in with her narrative the actual speeches and news reports and photos of the day, to make it more immediate. Very highly recommended, and an easy read even for high school.

posted by KKR on March 4, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

crappy book

Not a good book not entertaining

posted by Anonymous on October 31, 2012

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  • Posted July 15, 2014

    3.5 stars Her story is of hurt, trying to cope, and forgiveness

    3.5 stars

    Her story is of hurt, trying to cope, and forgiveness in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. While she presents her perspective on things growing up during this time, the tone of the book is not judgmental, just simply informative. Unfortunately, the story she presents doesn't always follow a chronological timeline. Sometimes this is of no consequence or adds to the story, but many times I thought we were further along the timeline and then she'd reference something as about to happen that I thought had already past... which definitely made parts of the book confusing. While the book deals with heavy material it isn't a difficult book to read - I read it spread throughout one day. While the World Watched is another piece in the broader story and worth the read, even if your perspective sometimes differs from hers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Hello matt g

    Hello i wanna play a game look to your left you need to kill that man gary p look to your right derek thats me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Breath taking reacount yet it left some things out.

    I loved the story but felt more or less, leftout. THE DETAILS ARE SO FOGGY. The diction is very comeforting and has a distinct sothern tone. Only a few gramatical errors throw the reader off and afectively suck them out of their mental reading state.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    Good History read.

    I like reading books bout history in this sort. Didnt care for it in school or if we did read it I was either talking or just not listening lol. Shows you how much you change when you grow up lol.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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