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History Hijinks Book Club: Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle

Monday, August 1, 2011

7:00 PM-8:00 PM

Cost: Free

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

Trustee's Room (3rd Floor)

August 1 - Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle

History HiJinks is the name of our wonderful book club at the Providence Public Library. Always informative and entertaining, we meet once a month (usually the first Monday night) from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. We’re big fans of the democratic process and welcome new members regardless of their history background. To register, please call or email Nancy: nancycallanan@cox.net; 401-787-4152. For more information, check out our blog .

History professor Boyle (The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945–1968) has brilliantly rescued from obscurity a fascinating chapter in American history that had profound implications for the rise of the Civil Rights movement. With a novelist's craft, Boyle opens with a compelling prologue portraying the migration of African-Americans in the 1920s to the industrial cities of the North, where they sought a better life and economic opportunity. This stirring section, with echoes of Dickens's Hard Times, sets the stage for the ordeal of Dr. Ossian Sweet, who moves with his young family to a previously all-white Detroit neighborhood. When the local block association incites a mob to drive Sweet back to the ghetto, he gathers friends and acquaintances to defend his new home with a deadly arsenal. The resulting shooting death of a white man leads to a sensational murder trial, featuring the legendary Clarence Darrow, fresh from the Scopes Monkey trial, defending Sweet, his family and their associates. This popular history, which explores the politics of racism and the internecine battles within the nascent Civil Rights movement, grips right up to the stunning jaw-dropper of an ending. From Publishers Weekly

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