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Download The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (Unabridged), by Gene Roberts
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (356 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gene Roberts Narrator: Richard Allen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Here 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 20th century.

Drawing on private correspondence, notes from secret meetings, unpublished articles, and interviews, veteran journalists Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff go behind the headlines and datelines to show how a dedicated cadre of newsmen - first black reporters, then liberal Southern editors, then reporters and photographers from the national press and the broadcast media - revealed to a nation its most shameful shortcomings and propelled its citizens to act.

We watch the black press move bravely into the front row of the confrontation, only to be attacked and kept away from the action. Following the Supreme Court's 1954 decision striking down school segregation and the South's mobilization against it, we see a growing number of white reporters venture South to cover the Emmett Till murder trial, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the integration of the University of Alabama.

We witness some Southern editors joining the call for massive resistance and working with segregationist organizations to thwart compliance. But we also see a handful of other Southern editors write forcefully and daringly for obedience to federal mandates, signaling to the nation that moderate forces were prepared to push the region into the mainstream.

The pace quickens in Little Rock, where reporters test the boundaries of journalistic integrity, then gain momentum as they cover shuttered schools in Virginia, sit-ins in North Carolina, mob-led riots in Mississippi, Freedom Ride buses being set afire, fire hoses and dogs in Birmingham, and long, tense marches through the rural South. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dawn | 2/7/2014

    " The final quote of the book sums it up well: "If it hadn't been for the media - the print media and television - the civil rights movement would have been like a bird without wings, a choir without a song." The book is amazing - many viewpoints are explored, as well as key events, the roles of the president, Supreme Court, the states, governors, law enforcement, marshals, FBI, preachers, editors, reporters, photographers, students, Martin Luther King, the Ku Klux Klan - it's all here. The nonviolence King preached and how he worked hard to get the press to cover rallies, sit-ins, the Freedom bus ride, black students integrating into schools and colleges, and any other event where nonviolent black protesters were met with violent law enforcement who used dogs, fire hoses, tear gas and clubs to beat anyone who got in their way. I was stunned at the number of murders not just white racists, but also police (sheriffs and deputies) got away with - even in court, even after white witnesses testified to the murderer's guilt. I also didn't realize the extent of the danger to the reporters and photographers covering all of these events, as well. Many of them were brutally beaten and their cameras (and film) destroyed. An in-depth, eye-opening and deeply moving book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joann | 1/31/2014

    " This is a fabulous account of the civil rights movement told through a very different lens.. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history and current affairs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andypants | 1/15/2014

    " This book should win the pulitzer prize for "most mention of the pulitzer prize". In between the continual shoutouts and overexposed back-of-house reporting details, there is hidden a really quite good accounting of newspaper, tv and magazine coverage of the civil rights movement. I share with the authors the opinion that there would have been far more and worse violence in this era had the reporters not been covering it as well as they did. Those reporters and editors were heroes. But was it really necessary in every description to list off the 12 newspapers who gave a story front page coverage? I'm no writer, or even an editor, but it felt clumsy, like the authors were trying too hard not to leave anyone out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Leigh | 1/13/2014

    " This Pulitzer-prize winning book takes a new approach to the history of the Civil Rights Struggle for African-Americans, by focusing on the newspapers and journalists who first wrote -- often at great personal cost -- about this important period in American history. A riveting story and full of great characters: The heroes who are flawed, hesitant, unsure but also hold fast to their moral visions; the villains: smart, canny, ruthless; and the tragic figures who saw what was happening but didn't know how to keep up with the times. And who knew about James J. Kilpatrick??? The chapters on the coverage of the Little Rock Nine are alone worth the price of admission. "

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