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

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Isabel Wilkerson

Narrated By: Robin Miles

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Date: January 2011

Duration: 22 hours 44 minutes

Summary:

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.

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  • Robert Tracy W

    This book provided a much needed background to the civil progress in the American experience. Bravo Isabel Wilkerson for job well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Lisa H

    Brilliantly written! So vivid and descriptive. l found my story within the lives of these individuals. As a child born as a result of two families migrating from Texas and Louisiana, I found the historical accounts so accurate. I came to understand the struggles they encountered and gained deep respect for my foreparents who did the best they could to give me the advantages I enjoy. I appreciate the many hours it took to seamlessly tell these stories. I so enjoyed this book and enjoyed the narrator!

  • ivie a

    very enlighting history book to listen to. Put a great deal of enlightenment in my mind, as I grew up as,a white baby boomer in texas away from the black conflicts. would recommend this to anyone who Will just open their minds to history and people. make no judgements. listen and ponder the facts.

  • Nadia R

    Best book I have read on Black American history after emancipation.

  • Jackie Vance

    I thought this would be a more general topic of the migration across America, but turns out to be focused on the drama of one black family. Disappointed to say the least.

  • Bruce Green

    This was an extraordinary book. Beautifully read, always engaging and informative. It's like three biographies woven together to create a picture of American history I was never taught. In the end it forced be to reject some of the history I had been taught. Further it's enabled me to be more critical and more empathic when confronted with social and political issues of peoples from other cultures moving about the world looking for a better life. And it was entertaining, made me laugh at times, brought me to the edge of my seat and allowed me to transcend my life and enter into another world. Thank you.