All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw

All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw

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by Theodore Rosengarten, Nate Shaw
     
 

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All God's Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975.

"On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long-defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him. In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from

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Overview


All God's Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975.

"On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long-defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him. In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from Tuskegee in east-central Alabama he found him—the man he calls Nate Shaw—a black man, 84 years old, in full possession of every moment of his life and every facet of its meaning. . . . Theodore Rosengarten, the student, had found a black Homer, bursting with his black Odyssey and able to tell it with awesome intellectual power, with passion, with the almost frightening power of memory in a man who could neither read nor write but who sensed that the substance of his own life, and a million other black lives like his, were the very fiber of the nation's history." —H. Jack Geiger, New York Times Book Review
 

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Dwight Garner

“Somewhere along the line, people stopped talking about it. Friends of mine who talk about nothing except Southern literature have barely heard of the book. I pounced on it after I discovered that Richard Howorth, the well-read owner of Square Books, the independent bookstore in Oxford, Miss., utters its title aloud every time a customer asks the question, 'What one book would you say best explains the South?' I wish I could say that, this early spring, I read All God’s Dangers in one sitting. It’s not that kind of book. It’s a meandering thing; its pleasures are intense but cumulative. This book rolls. But it is superb—both serious history and a serious pleasure, a story that reads as if Huddie Ledbetter spoke it while W. E. B. Du Bois took dictation. That it’s been largely forgotten is bad for it, but worse for us. . . . All God’s Dangers  . . . deserves a place in the front rank of American autobiographies. There are many reasons, in 2014, to attend to Ned Cobb’s [Nate Shaw’s] story.”
New York Times

“There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness. . . . Now there is another one, Nate Shaw’s.”
Washington Post Book World - Robert Coles

“Extraordinarily rich and compelling . . . possesses the same luminous power we associate with Faulkner.”
New Republic - Studs Terkel

“Eloquent and revelatory. . . . This is an anthem to human endurance.”
Christian Science Monitor - H.W. Bragdon

“The authentic voice of a warm, brave, and decent individual. . . . A pleasure to read. . . . Shaw’s observations on the life and people around him, clothed in wonderfully expressive language, are fresh and clear.”
Time - Paul Grey

“Astonishing . . . Nate Shaw was a formidable bearer of memories. . . . Miraculously, this man’s wrenching tale sings of life’s pleasures: honest work, the rhythm of the seasons, the love of relatives and friends, the stubborn persistence of hope when it should have vanished . . . All God’s Dangers is most valuable for its picture of pure courage.”
Harvard Educational Review - Randall Jarrell

“A triumph of ideas and historical content as well of expression and style.”
Chicago Tribune Book World - Alfred C. Ames

“Tremendous . . . a testimony of human nobility . . . the record of a heroic man with a phenomenal memory and a life experience of a kind of seldom set down in print. . . . a person of extraordinary stature, industrious, brave, prudent, and magnanimous. . . . One emerges from these hundred of pages wiser, sadder, and better because of them. A unique triumph!”
Baltimore Sun

“Awesome and powerful . . . A living history of nearly a century of cataclysmic change in the life of the Southerner, both black and white . . . Nate Shaw spans our history from slavery to Selma, and he can evoke each age with an accuracy and poignancy so pure that we stand amazed.”
The New York Times
There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness…Now there is another one, Nate Shaw's.
Charles McGrath
....Shaw's rich language and high storytelling style make this an eloquent book. -- The New York Times Books of the Century
From the Publisher
"There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness. . . . Now there is another one, Nate Shaw's." —The New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226727745
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/01/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
600
Sales rank:
623,961
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)

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John Hope Franklin
The ascendancy of [Booker T. Washington] is one of the most dramatic and significant episodes in the history of American education and of race relations.

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