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Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Chappell, David L. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow. North Carolina.

New York Times: “Intricate, dazzling in its reach. In its mix of rigor, daring, and perceptiveness, a spectacular work.” Atlantic Monthly: “One of the three or four most important books on the civil-rights movement…unusually sophisticated and subtle…Chappell’s greatest insight, however, is to discern that the struggle against segregation triumphed owing not only to the religious views of souther blacks but also to the religious views of southern whites.” Choice: “This study opens a rich new pathway to the way we understand the Civil Rights Movement. Essential.” Library Journal: “Chappell’s meticulously researched yet engaging narrative gives the religious aspects of the movement their well-deserved due. This nuanced, compellingly argued book makes sense of the contingent factors that conspired to bring the movement success and explains why it is so difficult to marshal those dynamics for further social change. It belongs in every library.” North Carolina Historical Review: “An important addition to the fields of southern, intellectual, and civil rights history.” Publishers Weekly: “Chappell writes engagingly, drawing an important revisionist portrait of the crucial role of religion in defeating Jim Crow.” Commentary: “Briskly written, feisty in tone but impressive in its scholarly documentation. If Chappell is far from unique in emphasizing the depth and specific character of the movement’s religious commitments, he may also be too sweeping in his condemnation of cold-war liberalism and too hard on the particular liberals he has chosen to pin to the wall. But what makes A Stone of Hope a truly exciting and important intellectual breakthrough is Chappell’s careful and imaginative approach to white Southern religious convictions and the white Christian response to the movement.”


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