Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pg. 99: Sheryll Cashin's "The Agitator's Daughter"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Sheryll Cashin's The Agitator's Daughter.

About the book, from the publisher:
A renowned law professor's intimate chronicle of her family's history as pioneers of social justice, and the price her father paid for their achievements

During Reconstruction, Herschel V. Cashin was a radical republican legislator who championed black political enfranchisement throughout the South. His grandson, Dr. John L. Cashin, Jr., inherited that passion for social justice and formed an independent Democratic party to counter George Wallace's Dixiecrats, electing more blacks to office than in any Southern state. His "uppity" ways attracted many enemies. Twice the private plane Cashin owned and piloted was sabotaged. His dental office and boyhood home were taken by eminent domain. The IRS pursued him, as did the FBI. Ultimately his passions would lead to ruin and leave his daughter, Sheryll, wondering why he would risk so much.

In following generations of Cashins through the eras of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, civil rights, and post-civil rights political struggles, Sheryll Cashin conveys how she came to embrace being an agitator's daughter with humor, honesty, and love.
Among the early praise for the book:
“Books of family lore—part oral history, part anecdote with loads of juicy tidbits from diaries and journals, engaging old photographs, newspaper quotes and entries from the public record—serve to put meat on the bones of history. In the smoothly written The Agitator's Daughter, Sheryll Cashin, a law professor at Georgetown University, adds her firsthand experiences as a participant and witness to civil rights history to enliven the text with a close and often heartbreaking point of view.”
--Washington Post

“[A] clear-eyed assessment of living in a family of civil rights leaders that stretched back four generations.”
--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Read an excerpt from The Agitator's Daughter; learn more the book at the publisher's website and more about the author at her Georgetown Law webpage.

Sheryll Cashin, professor of law at Georgetown University, writes about race relations and inequality in America. Her book The Failures of Integration was an Editors' Choice in the New York Times Book Review, and was a finalist for the 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction.

Listen to the NPR interview with Cashin about The Agitator's Daughter.

The Page 99 Test: The Agitator's Daughter.

--Marshal Zeringue