The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America offers a portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life and Christian faith to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present.
It's an interesting book, though limited in scope—while Meacham does a good job contextualizing Lewis' civil rights work in the 1960s, it doesn't paint a full portrait of the legendary activist ... Meacham writes eloquently about Lewis' participation in the first march from Selma ... Meacham's book is good for what it is—an introduction to one decade in Lewis' remarkable life. It's not more than that, and doesn't quite seek to be, but readers hoping to find a full portrait of the congressman will be disappointed ... The most interesting parts of Meacham's book are his observations about how Lewis' activism was inspired by his Christian faith ... But while Meacham is undoubtedly sincere about his admiration for Lewis' faith, concentrating mostly on that aspect of his life—an undeniably important one, to be sure—limits the book in a way many might find frustrating ... Nonetheless, it's an inspiring book that comes at a time when the world desperately needs inspiration.
... an unembarrassed hagiography ... Meacham’s account is loving and instructive. In his portrayal, Lewis was not as visionary as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., or as arresting as Malcolm X, or as captivating as Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture). But to Meacham he was more admirable than any of them in terms of his dogged determination, his unimpeachable personal decency and his unshakable faith that seeking justice by noble means would ultimately lead to redemption ... He relates with verve the story of Lewis’s early manhood ... His Truth Is Marching On makes two important points especially well. The first has to do with a feature of the Black freedom movement that is often neglected ... Praiseworthy, too, is Meacham’s care in emphasizing the breadth of the leadership that stepped forward so splendidly to guide the Black freedom movement ... His Truth Is Marching On would have benefited from more creative tension between its author and his hero ... More questioning on Meacham’s part would have provided a salutary interruption for cheerleading that, at last, becomes a bit boring.
... hagiographic ... Meacham wants to show that despite evidence all around us of injustices committed in the name of religion, faith-based activism can produce a better society ... Meacham tells this story with his customary eloquence. And by decentering Martin Luther King Jr. in favor of SNCC, he allows less famous activists to come to the fore ... Compared with Meacham’s earlier works, this book, published only a few months after his most recent one, gives the impression of having been written in haste. Much of it relies on Lewis’s 1998 memoir, Walking With the Wind. The emphasis on the spiritual origins of Lewis’s commitment to social change leads to slighting the movement’s more secular catalysts ... Meacham’s book is a welcome reminder of the heroic sacrifices and remarkable achievements of...young radicals—20th-century America’s greatest generation.