Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights.
Lawrence Goldstone. Scholastic Focus, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-32348-1
In clear, vivid language, this timely volume recounts the layered history of African-American voting rights, from the 1787 Constitutional Convention to Georgia’s 2018 block against voter registration for 53,000 residents, the majority of whom were African-American. Goldstone (Unpunished Murder) traces a range of events—including the founding of the Supreme Court, the genesis of the Ku Klux Klan, and research by scientists Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer—as he details the many ways that black people have effectively been kept from exercising the suffrage that they were legally granted in 1870. Throughout, he also focuses often on how conflicts between federal and state law have continued to affect those rights. In addition to revealing looks at the roles played by notable individuals such as Booker T. Washington and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in the struggle against disenfranchisement, Goldstone further enriches the narrative with nuanced portraits of many lesser-known figures. In reference to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Goldstone writes, “after more than a century, the promise of Reconstruction had begun to be kept,” but, leaping forward to contemporary Supreme Court rulings, he finds that promise potentially as “elusive” as ever. A strong, illuminating addition to the study of American history. Ages 12–up. Agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2019