Divided We Fail: The Story of an African-American Community that Ended the Era of School Desegregation

Sarah Garland. Beacon, $31 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8070-0177-6
Garland, a staff writer at the nonprofit education-reporting Hechinger Report, offers a nuanced and thoroughly researched look at the complicated history of school desegregation in the United States through the micro lens of the 2007 Louisville, Ky., court case that officially ended the era of forced busing and racial quotas. Looking at both the individuals affected by segregation and desegregation, Garland intersperses the narrative with historical precedent and cultural analysis, creating a rich subtext from which to assess the motivations of the parents and community members who brought the lawsuit that effectively ended the reign of enforced desegregation. Though this is her first book, Garland is unafraid to grapple with hard truths and intimate portraits of the families behind the statistics. The text is organized thematically rather than chronologically, a choice that magnifies the stakes at play for the plaintiffs. Readers will find the text more informative than politically charged, left to draw their own conclusions amid a whirlwind of evidence. Agent: Robert E. Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 01/29/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 160 pages - 978-0-8070-0178-3
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-0-8070-3333-3
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