Saturday, June 27, 2009

Five best: books on U.S. history

At the Wall Street Journal, Neal Bascomb, author of Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most ­Notorious Nazi, named a five best list of books on U.S. history.

One title on his list:
The Children
by David Halberstam
Random House, 1998

In a Montgomery bus station on May 20, 1961, a young man got down on his knees and prayed for the strength to love the racist mob closing in on him. “When he tried to get up, someone kicked him violently in the back, so viciously that three vertebrae on his spine were cracked.” This is one ­visceral scene among scores of others in David Halberstam’s “The Children,” a sweeping portrait of Nashville activists, most of them students, who brought courageous nonviolent protest to the civil-rights struggle in the Deep South. Halberstam covered the movement as a young reporter for the ­Tennessean, and when he wrote this book four decades later, the memory of those students clearly still burned in his heart.
Read about another book on Bascomb's list.

Also see, Gordon Wood's five best list of books on American history.

--Marshal Zeringue