Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia Audiobook, by Thomas Healy Play Audiobook Sample

Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia Audiobook

Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia Audiobook, by Thomas Healy Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Larry Herron Publisher: Macmillan Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 8.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781250795281

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

48:01 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

31 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

31:37 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Thomas Healy: > View All...

Publisher Description

The fascinating, forgotten story of the 1970s attempt to build a city dedicated to racial equality in the heart of “Klan Country”. In 1969, with America’s cities in turmoil and racial tensions high, civil rights leader Floyd McKissick announced an audacious plan: he would build a new city in rural North Carolina, open to all but intended primarily to benefit Black people. Named Soul City, the community secured funding from the Nixon administration, planning help from Harvard and the University of North Carolina, and endorsements from the New York Times and the Today show. Before long, the brand-new settlement – built on a former slave plantation – had roads, houses, a health care center, and an industrial plant. By the year 2000, projections said, Soul City would have fifty thousand residents. But the utopian vision was not to be. The race-baiting Jesse Helms, newly elected as senator from North Carolina, swore to stop government spending on the project. Meanwhile, the liberal Raleigh News & Observer mistakenly claimed fraud and corruption in the construction effort. Battered from the left and the right, Soul City was shut down after just a decade. Today, it is a ghost town – and its industrial plant, erected to promote Black economic freedom, has been converted into a prison. In a gripping, poignant narrative, acclaimed author Thomas Healy resurrects this forgotten saga of race, capitalism, and the struggle for equality. Was it an impossible dream from the beginning? Or a brilliant idea thwarted by prejudice and ignorance? And how might America be different today if Soul City had been allowed to succeed? A Macmillan Audio production from Metropolitan Books

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“An absorbing account of a visionary project…Healy engages with issues of race and segregation and provides insightful analysis of the project’s successes and failures.”

— Library Journal (starred review) 


  • “One of the greatest least-told stories in American history…Healy does an excellent job recounting the details.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “The tale of Soul City stands as a powerful—particular, vivid, and easily grasped—rebuke to narratives that deny the effects of structural racism.”

    — New Republic
  • “An engrossing and often heartbreaking look at a singular attempt to achieve some measure of racial equality in the US.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


  • A New York Times Book Review pick of Best Books Now in Paperback

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About Thomas Healy

Thomas Healy is a professor of law at Seton Hall Law School. A graduate of Columbia Law School, he clerked on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was a Supreme Court correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. He has written extensively about free speech, the Constitution, and the federal courts.