Rasmussen does an excellent job of examining segregation's deeper history in the African-American quest for equality. Rather than portraying African Americans solely as victims of the white majority, he presents accounts of incidents in which they unflinchingly demanded their rights in the face of overwhelming oppression. His focus is not so much on the institutionalization of Jim Crow laws as on the many small steps taken toward desegregation. He does not, however, neglect to explore the many political and social forces that went into hardening segregation. Of particular interest are examinations of the rise of the church as an institution for political change and of the military's pragmatic move to integrate its forces, long before the culture at large showed any willingness to do so. The impact of both these developments are evident in African-American culture today. This is a solidly written and thoroughly researched book that inspires the reader to learn more. A "Bibliography and Further Reading List" is included, with titles on the civil rights movement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, and general works on African-American history. Salient quotes, photographs, and anecdotes are presented in insets to complement the text. Although it is hard to find fault with this title, one does wish for more personal accounts, such as this one describing a young girl's travels with her mother through the deep south of the 1950s: "Traveling by car for any long distance requires two drivers to relieve one another. The vacancy sign in the motel or hotel means 'whites only.' We drive day and night, virtually nonstop. During the day, we stop briefly at dingy, filthy rest rooms marked just for us. Mama carries Kleenex; we develop strong bladders. At night, the men drive, the children sleep, the women keep watch, praying silently." Such accounts clarify what it was really like to live under Jim Crow, more so than pages describing court decisions and political wrangling could ever do. This readable book in the Library of African-American History will be an excellent resource for students looking for in-depth information on the history of segregation in the United States. VOYA Codes: 5Q 1P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, No YA will read unless forced to for assignments, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).