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Ripples Of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches
     

Ripples Of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches

by Josh Gottheimer
 

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Including a never-before published speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., this is the first compilation of its kind, bringing together the most influential and important voices from two hundred years of America's struggle for civil rights, including essential speeches from leaders, both famous and obscure. With voices as diverse as Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, Betty Friedan

Overview

Including a never-before published speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., this is the first compilation of its kind, bringing together the most influential and important voices from two hundred years of America's struggle for civil rights, including essential speeches from leaders, both famous and obscure. With voices as diverse as Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, Betty Friedan, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth, this anthology constitutes a unique chronicle of the nation's civil rights movements and the critical issues they've tackled, from slavery and suffrage to immigration and affirmative action.This is an indispensable compilation of the words --the ripples of hope--that, collectively, have changed American history.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its uplifting title, this wide-ranging anthology admirably includes both the most famous civil rights speeches of American history and lesser known, often angrier voices. Organizing the speeches chronologically, editor Gottheimer, who was one of President Clinton's speechwriters, delves as far back as 1789, when "a free Negro," name unknown, eloquently lamented the fact that "there are men who will not be persuaded that it is possible for a human soul to be lodged within a sable body." The second chapter, "Measured Gains: Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward," covers the period from 1866 to 1949, and encompasses voices as diverse as Marcus Garvey, Eleanor Roosevelt and Alonso Perales ("Defending Mexican Americans"). Although Gottheimer has limited the collection to speeches about African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, gays and lesbians and women, the astounding variety of rhetorical and political strategies enlisted by the speakers are not only instructive but make for engaging reading. In speeches from the civil rights era, for example, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" appears with Howard "Judge" Smith's "Sex Discrimination in the Civil Rights Act," Malcolm X's "The Ballot or the Bullet," and Stokely Carmichael's "Black Power." As Gottheimer acknowledges, the pickings among present-day civil rights speeches are slim and acidic (ACT UP pioneer Larry Kramer rails against his own audience in 1987, for example), but the selection is never less than judicious, revealing and notably authoritative. 8 pages of photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Ripples of Hope contains 98 speeches in four historical groupings: Early America. Early Dissent 1787-1865; Measured Gains: Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward 1866-1949; The Civil Rights Era: Lift Every Voice 1950-1969; and The Current Struggle: Slow But Steady Progress 1970-1998. Speakers include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Quincy Adams, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Susan B. Anthony, W.E.B. Du Bois, Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Harvey Milk, Anita Hill, Sister Souljah, Betty Friedan, Colin Powell, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Barney Frank, Kweisi Mfume, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Accompanying the speeches are a foreword by William Jefferson Clinton, a lengthy introduction by the editor, Josh Gottheimer (a Clinton speech writer), an afterword by Mary Frances Berry (chairperson of the United States Commission on Civil Rights), and a thorough index. The speeches cover the civil rights movements of African Americans, Asian Americans, gays, Hispanic Americans, and women. A must for library shelves. KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Perseus, Basic Books, 514p. illus. index., Ages 12 to adult.
—Janet Julian
Library Journal
Gottheimer reproduces the eloquent and evolving voices of people who advanced liberty for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, gays, and women. Offering 98 selections in four parts, the one-time chief of staff of Bill Clinton's White House speech-writing office chronicles the periods 1780-1865, 1866-1949, 1950-69, and 1970-2000, introducing each piece with a brief biographical and historical note to set the speaker, time, place, and significance. His richly illuminating entries both celebrate the distance that the United States has come since the bleakest days of public oppression and observe the critical struggle against continuing discrimination. Many well-known and less familiar speakers appear (a few, such as Martin Luther King Jr., turn up several times) as Gottheimer traces interconnections among protest movements and marks their rhetorical roots in the struggle of blacks against the racist oppression of slavery and segregation. Citations or notes on sources would have further polished the collection, and inescapable quibbles may challenge to displace some selections with others. But Gottheimer's work is destined to be a classic reference for anyone seriously interested in civil rights or great American speeches.-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786747658
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/21/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
568
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Josh Gottheimer was a speechwriter to President Bill Clinton and a senior advisor to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a Thouron Fellow at Oxford, he is now at Harvard Law School. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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