Maggie's American Dream

James P. Comer, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-453-00588-3
Maggie's eldest child, the first of her five offspring to achieve advanced degrees, here remembers three generations of his black American family. Resurrecting the tradition of oral family history, Comer, a child psychiatrist, transcribes his mother's reminiscences. She was born in Mississippi in 1904 and matured in an extended sharecropping family, struggling against rampant poverty and racism. Her indomitable spirit, pride and financial acumen would later provide her own children a standard of living unusually high for most blacks and many whites of the Depression years. Interesting contrast is provided in the book's second part by the autobiographical account of the author's formative years. Descriptions of his gentle father's intolerable working conditions at a steel mill, which led to his premature death, are heartbreaking. As the author shows, the quest for personal honor, intellectual excellence and economic success in our bigoted society remains the most valued parental legacy of Maggie's children. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-452-26318-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-453-00937-9
Prebound-Other - 228 pages - 978-0-8335-5406-2
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