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Rosa Parks [Hardcover]

4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
OF ALL THE CIVIL RIGHTS SITES worthy of pilgrimage in Alabama, and there are many, none transfixes the historical imagination quite like that marked only by a simple green sign on an ordinary-looking street in Montgomery. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wanted: Equality!! May 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
Walking into restaurants and shopping malls, I see short and tall people, young and old people, and black and white people. You may be thinking, "Well, DUH!", but think about it for a minute...were black people always allowed to eat with and shop where white people did? I don't think so! I mean if it weren't for certain people such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, black and white people wouldn't even be able to drink out of the same water fountain, let alone shop and eat among each other.
After reading the book entitled Rosa Parks, written by Douglas Brinkley, I realized that life today isn't at all the same as life was 50 years ago.
Rosa Parks is mainly an autobiography of Rosa Parks. It does although mention other great people such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth. All these people helped create equality throughout all of the human races.
On December 1, 1955, a 42-year old black woman, named Rosa Louise Parks, refused to give up her seat to a white man. You see, back then, white people had the privilege of sitting in the front of the bus, due to their so-called "superiority" over blacks, and blacks were sent to the back. Rosa Parks' refusal set off a 381-day boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is now considered to have been the beginning of the American civil rights movement.
Rosa Parks' case was different from many other people who disobeyed the laws. Rosa Parks had this biblical quality, which made her a saint, somewhat divine. Also, Rosa Parks only spent 2 hours in jail, while others were in for days, weeks, perhaps even months.
This book not only recognizes some of the most influential people of all time, but also tells exactly how black people were treated and how they reacted.
If you are interested in finding out more about Rosa Parks and other interesting people, I highly recommend this book.
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Format:Hardcover
Douglas Brinkley brings out the essence of Rosa Parks' humanity and her role in the Civil Rights movement. This short, highly-readable book provides useful background on Mrs. Parks' parents, early childhood, and introduction to the NAACP.
The impact of Rosa Parks' actions on her family and friends was among the most revealing aspects of the book. The web of support, before and after her refusal to give up her seat, is truly inspirational.
The author explores in detail the involvement of Mrs. Parks in the NAACP, church groups, and other activist organizations during the early-to-mid '50s. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s first national exposure in the movement is interesting for those not having read "Parting the Water..." and other such works.
Douglas Brinkley's telling of the Rosa Parks story is not the first - and certainly not the last - but is the best!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying and Inspirational April 3 2002
Format:Hardcover
This biography of Rosa Parks presents a very well balanced, fair description of its subject. Regrettably, as with Martin Luther King Jr., social activists and historians have all too often exalted the heroes of the Civil Rights movement beyond the bounds of human existence. This deification is both degrading and unfair, as it not only deprives our heroes of the right to live - and die - as normal human beings, but it also places many of them out of reach - discouraging many to whom them would otherwise serve as excellent role models.
In refreshing contrast to that destructive tendency, this book does an excellent job of peeling back the aura around Rosa Parks and depicting her as the simple, virtuous woman that she is. Brinkley's depiction of her is refreshingly human and honest, and he does a magnificent job of describing her in the simple, straightforward way that so characterizes her.
Also worthy of note is Brinkley's willingness to include so many of Rosa Park's circle of acquaintances in his narrative. From her hard-drinking yet loyal husband to people who have met her only briefly, he touches on their influences on her life, their reaction to her, and what they all mean within the greater scope of her place in our history and society.
Regrettably, whites - with a few notable exceptions - are seen as oppressive, racist boors with a permanent vendetta. Even at that time, that was not true.
Overall, this book is an excellent, enjoyable, and enlightening read - and one that does refreshing justice to the woman and warrior that Rosa Parks is.<P...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Portrait of an American Heroine March 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Written with an eloquence and grace more often associated with poets than with academic historians, Douglas Brinkley's biography of Rosa Parks (part of the highly-touted Viking 'Penguin Lives' Series) is a moving portrait of an iconic American figure. 'Rosa Parks' relates not only the climactic moment of Ms. Parks' courageous refusal to relinquish her seat on a segregated bus one winter day in Montgomery Alabama, which triggered one of the seminal events of the Civil Rights Movement, it also weaves together a compelling narrative of one woman's path from the struggles of her youth in Tuskegee, Alabama to her post-boycott experiences in Montgomery and Detroit. Brinkley's research for the book is remarkable. He obtained rare interviews with Ms. Parks herself, and presents illuminating new details about her life and the Civil Rights Movement of which she was a part. Brinkley's depiction of Ms. Parks' encounter with Nelson Mandela alone will move even the most jaded of readers. Intended for lay readers while invaluable for scholars, Brinkley's exquisite literary craftsmanship has resulted in a work that will stand as a classic, not only in the fields of African-American and women's history, but among the great works of American history and biography as a whole.
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