The Race Beat: Book summary and reviews of The Race Beat by Gene Roberts, Hank Klibanoff

The Race Beat

The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation

by Gene Roberts, Hank Klibanoff

The Race Beat

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Book Summary

This is the story of how America awakened to its race problem, of how a nation that longed for unity after World War II came instead to see, hear, and learn about the shocking indignities and injustices of racial segregation in the South—and the brutality used to enforce it.

It is the story of how the nation’s press, after decades of ignoring the problem, came to recognize the importance of the civil rights struggle and turn it into the most significant domestic news event of the twentieth century.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2007

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Although sometimes weighted by mundane detail and deadening statistics, the book is so enlivened with anecdotes that it remains a page-turner." - PW

"[T]he authors present fascinating accounts of editors and reporters-famous and little known, black and white, liberal and reactionary-who, in the words of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), "changed this nation once and for all."" - Library Journal

"At times, their attention drifts away from the press and onto rehashes of familiar stories -- the murder of Emmett Till, the march in Selma, the mob violence at the University of Mississippi, the church bombing in Birmingham -- but these may be useful to younger readers for whom, alas, these events are ancient and perhaps unknown history." - Washington Post

"[D]escribed here in richly instructive detail how, more often than not, the professional performance of both Southern newspapers and national beacons like The Times left much to be desired." - New York Times

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