“John Hope Franklin is a true role model. He embodies the native optimism, i.e., that one can go from slavery to freedom, from ignorance to intelligence, can experience cruelty, yet manifest kindness. In Mirror to America, each citizen can see herself and himself, reflected in the life of this great American.” Maya Angelou
“Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin is an astonishing beautiful, deeply intelligent record of an extraordinary life. Required reading lest we forget what is possible in a race-based society.” Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature
“With his remarkable sense of humanity, renowned historian John Hope Franklin shares his life journey – an odyssey marked by scholarship, public service, and his passionate commitment to improve the condition of African Americans and their relations with their fellow citizens. Through candid stories of Franklin's relentless pursuit of equality, Mirror to America calls upon all Americans to look at our nation's past so that we may destroy the color line that continues to divide our country, and progress together into the future.” President William Jefferson Clinton
“This is the most important autobiography of the year! John Hope Franklin is a national treasure. Mirror to America is cause for a national celebration. For me, and countless others, Dr. Franklin is a mentor and role-model without peer, a man whose clear-eyed look into our past improved America's future. Mirror to America will lift the spirit and steel our resolve for the work ahead.” Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Senior Manager and Director Lazard LTD and author of Vernon Can Read
“John Hope Franklin's story is a triumphant one, at once a chronicle of America's progress in civil rights over the past ninety years and a stirring reminder of the determination still needed to confront the country's remaining barriers to racial equality. He has inspired his students for decades; now, with Mirror to America, he offers inspiration to us all.” David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor, City of New York
“John Hope Franklin's Mirror to America is a singular document, a great historian's autobiography that will serve as an indispensable history of our times. Read and reflect, indeed!” David Levering Lewis, Pulizer Prize winner, Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History, NYU
John Hope Franklin is a true role model. He embodies the native optimism, i.e., that one can go from slavery to freedom, from ignorance to intelligence, can experience cruelty, yet manifest kindness. In Mirror to America, each citizen can see herself and himself, reflected in the life of this great American.
This autobiography of John Hope Franklin might be viewed as a microcosm of the civil rights movement and race relations in America. Born in 1915, he grew up in an era of enforced segregation and spontaneous lynching. He earned a Harvard Ph.D. and became the first black historian to gain a full professorship at a white institution, but Franklin was no reclusive academician. From his 1934 effort to force President Franklin Roosevelt to respond to racial violence to his participation in freedom marches and the Brown v. Board of Education case, Franklin walked the walk. From Slavery to Freedom, his history of blacks in America, has sold more than 3 million copies and continues to reshape views of African-American history. This is a major statement by a great American.
Franklin's steady, unwavering voice, touched with a taste of gravel and the slightest Southern drawl, anchors his reading of his autobiography, which takes him from an impoverished childhood to a Harvard Ph.D. and a career as a professor of history and tireless advocate for African-American issues. Franklin details his participation in landmark civil rights efforts like Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery, Ala., march of 1965. The 90-year-old Franklin reads with a leisurely tone, sounding less like the academic he is and more like an engaging, hospitable storyteller. If at times he makes the book sound like a laundry list of book reviews, job titles and the like, Franklin does a fine job of moving the story along, his sonorous tones surprisingly soothing. Occasionally Franklin hesitates or stumbles over words, but this lack of professional polish only adds to the luster of his reading, which possesses a genuineness and vigor. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 5). (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
True to its title, Mirror to America simultaneously tells the compelling life story of Franklin and details nearly nine decades of American history. The author, a famed historian who played a significant role in the Brown v. Board of Education case, speaks candidly and thoroughly about his life experiences. He grew up in Oklahoma during segregation and went on to earn a degree from Fisk University and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard, despite many horrifying and outrageous instances of discrimination. Throughout his life's work, to define and disseminate African American history, Franklin maintained a deep love and respect for his family. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Clinton, Franklin has earned a place in American history because of his passion for that very subject. His reading is authentic and flows well most of the time; his distinctive voice and wonderful diction enhance the overall fine quality of the audio production. Recommended and suitable for all school and public libraries.-Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.