Sunday, January 21, 2007

NYT Book Review: Roberts & Klibanoff, The Race Beat

THE RACE BEAT: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation, by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff, is reviewed by Raymond Arsenault in the Book Review section of today's New York Times. The review begins:
Historians of the civil rights era have long recognized the impact of the press on the character and pace of the movement. From William Bradford Huie’s graphic 1955 interview with the unrepentant killers of Emmett Till to the televised images of Bull Connor’s attack dogs snapping at young demonstrators in the streets of Birmingham to the eyewitness accounts of the beatings of voting rights marchers in Selma, Ala., the power of the pen and the camera has been memorable. Until now, however, no one has offered an in-depth analysis of how and why the news media came to play such an important role in the struggle for racial justice.
In “The Race Beat,” the veteran journalists Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff painstakingly trace the evolution of civil rights press coverage in the South from the publication of “An American Dilemma,” by Gunnar Myrdal, in 1944 to the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968....

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