Download The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Audiobook

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of Americas Great Migration Audiobook, by Isabel Wilkerson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Isabel Wilkerson Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781455814251
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois state senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue medicine, becoming the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful career that allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties. Wilkerson brilliantly captures her subjects’ first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed their new cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Nonfiction that reads like great fiction.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “[An] indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in twentieth-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • The Warmth of Other Suns is a brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover the full half-century of the Great Migration…Wilkerson combines impressive research…with great narrative and literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and psychological depth.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Isabel Wilkerson’s majestic The Warmth of Other Suns shows that not everyone bloomed, but the migrants—Wilkerson prefers to think of them as domestic immigrants—remade the entire country, North and South. It’s a monumental job of writing and reporting that lives up to its subtitle: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”

    USA Today

  • “[A] massive and masterly account of the Great Migration….A narrative epic rigorous enough to impress all but the crankiest of scholars, yet so immensely readable as to land the author a future place on Oprah’s couch.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • The Warmth of Other Suns is epic in its reach and in its structure. Told in a voice that echoes the magic cadences of Toni Morrison or the folk wisdom of Zora Neale Hurston’s collected oral histories, Wilkerson’s book pulls not just the expanse of the migration into focus but its overall impact on politics, literature, music, sports—in the nation and the world.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[An] extraordinary and evocative work.”

    Washington Post

  • “Mesmerizing.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “One of the most lyrical and important books of the season.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Not since Alex Haley’s Roots has there been a history of equal literary quality where the writing surmounts the rhythmic soul of fiction, where the writer’s voice sings a song of redemptive glory as true as Faulkner’s southern cantatas.”

    San Francisco Examiner

  • “[A] sweeping history of the Great Migration…The Warmth of Other Suns builds upon such purely academic works to make the migrant experience both accessible and emotionally compelling.”

    National Public Radio

  • “An astonishing work…Isabel Wilkerson delivers!…With the precision of a surgeon, Wilkerson illuminates the stories of bold, faceless African-Americans who transformed cities and industries with their hard work and determination to provide their children with better lives.”


  • The Warmth of Other Suns is a beautifully written, in-depth analysis of what Wilkerson calls ‘one of the most underreported stories of the twentieth century…A masterpiece that sheds light on a significant development in our nation’s history.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “[A] magnificent, extensively researched study of the great migration…The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A truly auspicious debut…The author deftly intersperses [her characters’] stories with short vignettes about other individuals and consistently provides the bigger picture without interrupting the flow of the narrative…Wilkerson’s focus on the personal aspect lends her book a markedly different, more accessible tone. Her powerful storytelling style, as well, gives this decades-spanning history a welcome novelistic flavor. An impressive take on the Great Migration.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Scholarly but very readable, this book, for all its rigor, is so absorbing, it should come with a caveat: Pick it up only when you can lose yourself entirely.”

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction
  • A 2010 New York Times Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 USA Today Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Salon Magazine Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • One of Newsday’s Favorite Books of the Year for Nonfiction in 2010
  • A 2010 Washington Post Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Boston Globe Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Economist Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Seattle Times Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • An ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2011 New England Book Award for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 RUSA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 O Magazine Best Book for Nonfiction

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About the Author

Isabel Wilkerson won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her reporting as Chicago bureau chief of the New York Times. The award made her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. She won the George Polk Award for her coverage of the Midwest and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for her research into the Great Migration. She has lectured on narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and as the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University. She is currently a professor of Journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, DC, where she was born and raised.

About the Narrator

Eileen Stevens is a voice-over actress living and working in New York City whose voice can be heard on cartoons, promos, programs for English-language learners, and audiobooks. She has voiced Iris on Pokémon. An Earphones Award–winning narrator, she has also directed and produced audiobooks for over six years.