RaveThe Washington PostGates’s book covers territory well known to scholars and Civil War buffs ... For those wishing to know more about this dismal story of racial hysteria in places as high as Woodrow Wilson’s White House and as low as the blackface minstrel show, Stony the Road is excellent one-stop shopping. With a main text of about 250 pages, Gates offers a compressed, yet surprisingly comprehensive narrative sweep ... Gates is at his most fluent in defining the newer Negro as a feature of the Harlem Renaissance powered by Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson and other key figures of the African American creative pantheon ... the author is a painstakingly honest broker in describing the combat among black opinion leaders over the roles of class, skin color, education and social adaptation vs. rebellion in the African American saga ... Analytically, this is a lively, consistently challenging book. I was struck by a sweeping criticism Gates offers in discussing the Harlem Renaissance.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review\"... a valuable addition to the historical record of Alabama’s role as the battleground state of the civil rights revolution ... With this book, Jones invites us — indeed, challenges us — to look anew at the central paradox of the case ... Jones’s account is evenhanded to a fault: He fails to emphasize the villainous role of Hoover as the chief reason that Robert \'Dynamite Bob\' Chambliss and his two thuggish accomplices, Tommy Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry, were all old men before Baxley and Jones were able to put them behind bars in a series of three dramatic trials conducted in 1977, 2001 and 2002 ... Jones’s account of the trials of Bobby Cherry and Tommy Blanton add important details to the agonizing story. His account of Klan infiltration of the Birmingham Police Department (a \'snake pit\') is ruthlessly candid. He is both accurate and generous in telling how Eddy and the F.B.I. field agents helped him reconstruct the building of the bomb and its placement on the outer wall of the women’s restroom at the church ... Simply stated, using piecemeal evidence that a dishonest F.B.I. director wanted to keep out of court, Bill Baxley and Doug Jones put together a convincing case that proved beyond reasonable doubt that Alabama juries convicted the right men for murder.\
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewAlthough dismaying to some Lee fans, the belated publication of Watchman ... opened the door to serious scholarship like Atticus Finch: The Biography, Joseph Crespino’s crisp, illuminating examination of Harper Lee’s dueling doppelgängers and their real-life model, Lee’s politician father, A. C. Lee. Crespino ... A. C. Lee, who once chased an integrationist preacher out of the Monroeville Methodist Church, and his devoted albeit sporadically rebellious daughter, Nelle Harper Lee, both wanted the world to have a better opinion of upper-class Southern WASPs than they deserve ... Crespino demonstrates that To Kill a Mockingbird, while it is the superior storytelling book, wobbles morally in comparison to Watchman.
PositiveThe Washington Post...this book is a vigorous polemic in the classical sense of that word — a sharply focused argument in support of a debatable point of view.