The promised land the great black migration
The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America by Nicholas LemannThere are some positive aspects to this book, the foremost being that it was written at all. It focuses on the causes and results of serious problems which had not been solved in 1991, with little optimism that ghetto problems would ever be solved except by the upward movement of people who found a way out.
The details of the individuals whose histories are presented are illuminating but difficult to follow and absorb - too much detail not put into clear narrative or context. The political machinations in Washington and Chicago (President Johnson & Mayor Daley) are fascinating and easier to follow, perhaps because I was aware of many of the events covered at the time they were happening.
Part of my problem in reading this book now is that it was written 28 years ago and while it has interest as history, its value as social and political commentary is seriously dated.
An additional note: I entered “American ghetto” as a search term in Amazon and found very few books on the topic, perhaps suggesting just how limited has been our sustained interest in the problem.
The Promised Land
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Look Inside. Mar 31, ISBN Aug 24, ISBN A New York Times bestseller, the groundbreaking authoritative history of the migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. A definitive book on American history, The Promised Land is also essential reading for educators and policymakers at both national and local levels.
By Nicholas Lemann. New York: Alfred A. The century and a half that shaped the South's distinctive identity was started by one machine and ended by another. The first machine was the cotton gin, patented by a Connecticut Yankee in , the second the mechanical cotton picker, developed by a Northern corporation in The machine that ended the long Southern era but not all its effects began a national experience still unfolding that is the subject of Nicholas Lemann's richly informative book, "The Promised Land" -- namely, the enormous migration of black people from the rural South to the metropolitan North, their entrapment in its ghettos and the revolutions in agriculture, urban geography, race relations and national politics that followed. This is not to say that the machine did it all. There were pulls as well as pushes -- job opportunities and better pay for cheap labor in the North in wartime, for example.