The struggle for racial equality in the North has usually been little more than a footnote in books about civil rights in America. Thomas Sugrue's epic account of the quest for justice in states from Illinois to New York demonstrates how the intense northern struggle differed from and was inspired by the fight in the South. This panoramic history sweeps from the 1920s to the present, uncovering the forgotten stories of battles to open up lunch counters, beaches, and movie theaters; struggles against Jim Crow schools; and the tangled histories of integration and black power.
"With this landmark study, Thomas Sugrue has accomplished the extraordinary: he's transformed the history of the civil rights movement…. In the process, he's stripped away the comforting sense shared by so many Americans that the struggle for racial justice is complete, the victory won. If ever a book deserved to be essential reading, this is it."—Kevin Boyle