Looking at African American History: 1500-2008  -     By: Henry Louis Gates
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Looking at African American History: 1500-2008

Knopf / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Life Upon These Shores traces the history of African American from 1513-2008. Archival reproductions of old advertisements, documents, and photos complement the accessible, detailed chapters. Arranged by chronological, momentous stages in the history of Africans in America, from "origins," the American Revolution, ending the slave trade, resistance, war, the "ordeal of Jim Crow," up through the election of Barack Obama, this engaging work provides a fascinating diachronic overview of African-American life. 487 glossy pages, hardcover with dust jacket.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Knopf
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 0307593428
ISBN-13: 9780307593429

Publisher's Description

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.

Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship and including more than seven hundred images—ancient maps, fine art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters—Life Upon These Shores focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the signal achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop to the Joshua generation. By documenting and illuminating the sheer diversity of African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture, Gates bracingly disabuses us of the presumption of a single "black experience."

Life Upon These Shores is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination.

Author Bio

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is editor in chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center and of the daily online magazine The Root. He has received more than forty honorary degrees from institutions the world over.

Publisher's Weekly

With nearly 900 illustrations (formal portraits, news photos, historic lithographs, broadsides, flyers, posters, newspaper clippings, advertisements) complemented by a succinct but informing text, Harvard professor Gates (Black in Latin America) provides a visual sojourn through African-American history, a generally upbeat march from Juan Garrido, accompanying Cortés in 1519, to Barack Obama taking the presidential oath in 2008. Gathered in this chronologically arranged compendium, with its focus on the accomplishments and moments of achievement in the African-American community, is a wealth of materials about the historical, political, social, literary, and scientific events influencing American social and political culture. Scant attention is paid to the oft-told tale of plantation slavery, although the devastations wrought upon the African-American community are not neglected: “the infamous Middle Passage,” Fort Pillow massacre, the convict lease system, the Tulsa race riot, the Tuskegee syphilis study, the police attack on the Selma marchers, Hurricane Katrina. The familiar and famous are in Gates’s encyclopedic reach, but so are the less known and nearly forgotten. (How hard it is today to imagine that a 1950 photograph of Billy Eckstein with “white female fans” could be “revolutionary.”) “Although we cannot change the past,” Gates observes in one entry, “we can change how we remember it.” In this sumptuous volume, Gates assembles an affirming, illuminating, and needed tribute. (Nov.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Henry Louis Gates’s Life Upon These Shores

"A distinguished scholar surveys, with lavish illustrations, 500 years of the African-American experience. . . . From the conquistadors and the origins of slavery, through the Revolutionary period, the rise of abolitionism, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, the Great Migration, both World Wars and the 20th century civil-rights movement, up to President Obama’s election, the supremely qualified Gates guides us through centuries of history . . . stunning illustrations . . . striking, comprehensive." –Kirkus Reviews
 
"You can’t beat the fresh and heady scholarship of Life Upon These Shores…Challenging the notion of a single ’Black Experience,’ Gates contextualizes his narrative with more than 800 images and doesn’t duck controversy." –Library Journal
 
"Gates documents the famous, the obscure, and the long forgotten…[A] chronicle of the pressing issues and events of each generation and the incredible diversity covered by the appellation African American. A tour de force." –Booklist
 
"Meticulously researched…a book that truly celebrates the resilience and achievements of African-Americans." –BlackAmericaWeb.com
 
"Gates avoids cliché, meticulously illuminating the influence and contributions of Blacks in America: from African conquistadors to the election of President Barack Obama. This ambitious title redefines the relevancy of the past to our lives." –Uptown Magazine
 
"[Life Upon These Shores] would make an excellent addition to a home or school. In fact, if you’re feeling generous this season, pick one up and donate it to the middle school library nearest you." –Journal Sentinel
 
"Compiled with rigorous ambition and scholarship by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this book weaves nearly 900 images and reams of clear-eyed storytelling into an extraordinary chronology. Not only does a breathtaking range of African-American expression and experience emerge, a portrait of independence, fortitude and deep faith—the essence of American life—comes shining through." –NPR (Best Gift Books of 2012)
 
"an excellent example of Gates’s ability to maintain high standards of scholarship while making a broad, dense subject accessible to a modern audience…A remarkable accomplishment that should endure through many editions. Highly recommended." –Choice
 
"Reading Life Upon These Shores is like walking through history one day at a time. The rich content of this book pulls the reader in many different directions, and yet Mr. Gates keeps the direction focused…With each new story we sit at Mr. Gate’s feet, rest our chin in our hands, and listen and learn…Mr. Gates makes us richer with the knowledge of what went before—and what can be in the future." –New York Journal of Books
 
"This is not a book to plunk down on the coffee table and flip through on occasion. It deserves to be read and read closely, short essay by short essay." –Philly Online
 
"[Gates] tells things the way they were, not the way we would like them to be…This book pulls together a valuable account of the African-American experience upon these shores. It is worth a read by all Americans who want to learn where we have been as a nation." –Houston Chronicle
 
"A stupendous undertaking…a cornucopia of riches…conceptualized and executed with loving care and rigorous intellectual grounding." –Counterpunch
 
"An amazing compendium of information…it is enlightening to have a wide-angle lens turned on this epic, to see a picture of the whole." –Arts Critic Atlanta

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