Review by Choice Review
Some historians, notably Allen Matusow, depict the 1960s as a destructive era when the liberal consensus fell victim to a radical and countercultural onslaught and cowed before Black Power advocates, thus losing support among whites. Fergus (Vanderbilt Univ.) takes issue with this view in his sprightly written examination of black policies in North Carolina. Far from being cowed, he asserts, liberals guided activists away from extremism. By showing concern for issues such as the Episcopal Church's effort to aid Malcolm X University and the biracial outrage showed during the trial of Joan Little in 1974, liberals deflected the violent rhetoric of the late 1960s and helped lever radicals into the mainstream. Fergus has fingertip knowledge of North Carolina during this era and does a masterful job of navigating the often-complex contours of Tar Heel politics. His coverage of Little is outstanding, and his account of Soul City, that abortive attempt at a harmonious biracial community in eastern North Carolina, is marvelous. An outstanding work. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. D. R. Turner Davis and Elkins College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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