Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow

Overview

The heroism of those involved in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott is presented here in poignant and thorough detail. The untold stories of those, both black and white, whose lives were forever changed by the boycott are shared, along with a chilling glimpse into the world of the white council members who tried to stop them. In the end, the boycott brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to prominence and improved the lives of all black Americans. Based on extensive interviews conducted over decades and culled from...

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Overview

The heroism of those involved in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott is presented here in poignant and thorough detail. The untold stories of those, both black and white, whose lives were forever changed by the boycott are shared, along with a chilling glimpse into the world of the white council members who tried to stop them. In the end, the boycott brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to prominence and improved the lives of all black Americans. Based on extensive interviews conducted over decades and culled from thousands of exclusive documents, this behind-the-scenes examination details the history of violence and abuse on the city buses. A look at Martin Luther King Jr.'s trial, an examination of how black and white lawyers worked together to overturn segregation in the courtroom, and even firsthand accounts from the segregationists who bombed the homes of some of Montgomery's most progressive ministers are included. This fast-moving story reads like a legal thriller but is based solely on documented facts and firsthand accounts, presenting the compelling and never-before-told stories of the beginning of the end of segregation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wonderful collaboration. This is a fascinating new look at the story." —Montgomery Advertiser

"A must read for every Montgomerian." —The Montgomery Independent

"The Thunder of Angels tells the real story of the people involved in the Montgomery bus boycott.."  —Vernon Jordan

"An essential book for more fully understanding how the walls came tumblin' down."  —Studs Terkel

"Donnie Williams and Wayne Greenhaw find the history that haunts us, and write it smart, sharp, and hard."  —Rick Bragg

 

"A thoroughly researched and meticulously written account."  —Denver Post 
 

"Poignant and thorough."  —BooksandWords.com

 "A powerful, behind-the-scenes view."  —The Bulletin
 

The Decatur Daily
"A powerful, fact-filled narrative. . . A first-rate book."
Montgomery Advertiser
"A wonderful collaboration. This is a fascinating new look at the story."
Montgomery Independent
"A must read for every Montgomerian."
Library Journal
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her seat on public bus #2857 in Montgomery, AL, prompting the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56. Williams's father purchased the bus in the 1970s to ensure its preservation. He and coauthor Greenhaw (Beyond the Night: A Remembrance) aim not simply to tell the story of the protest but also to cast light upon E.D. Nixon, an organizer in Montgomery for many years before the boycott. They contend that the boycott does not owe its beginnings simply to Rosa Parks or to Martin Luther King Jr. but to Nixon's tenacity, explaining that it was Nixon who picked King to lead the protest. King's Stride Toward Freedom doesn't deny Nixon's galvanizing force but doesn't quite say what Williams and Greenhaw are saying here. Through extensive interviews, the authors uncover significant personal histories of the boycott, including, quite unsettlingly, those of KKK members who terrorized Montgomery at the time. Vividly narrated, though at times slowing for biographical background on the main figures, this work is compelling and brilliantly accomplished, giving Nixon deserved recognition. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Jim Hahn, Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525902
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Donnie Williams inherited the bus made famous by Rosa Parks; in 2003 he sold it to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. He has spent many years interviewing those who witnessed and participated in the boycott. Wayne Greenhaw is the critically acclaimed author of 17 books, including Beyond the Night, My Heart Is in the Earth, and The Spider's Web. His work has appeared in The Miami Herald, The New York Times, and Reader's Digest.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2005

    Untold Stories from Unsung Heroes Incredible Research

    Donnie Williams put incredible effort into research and interviewing people who were there (in the mid century south) and people who remember racial events of this historical time period. This book brought out hard and sad times in our nation's history when innocent men, women, and children suffered unbelievable discrimination and even death. This book makes everyone aware that our knowledge of the time period is only a tip of the iceberg. Many suffered and their stories will never be heard, but Donnie Williams took time to go into their homes and their histories to learn many untold stories of unsung heroes (white and black) who fought for freedom, equality, and unity for all races. This book is well worth the read and I look forward to Donnie's upcoming books with more information on this historical time period.

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