With a fine & favorable piece by ex-newspaperman James Hill, the influential and erudite conservative opinion magazine Weekly Standard adds to the growing stack of positive reviews for 30 Days a Black Man.
Hill says in the June 12 issue of the weekly that I bring the story of Ray Sprigle’s forgotten secret undercover mission into the Jim Crow South in 1948 back to life in a “highly readable and impressively researched” way, which was very nice of him.
Conservatives who read the Weekly Standard will hear the same kind of praise that Reason.com expressed in its Hit & Run blog on May 12, when it presented a podcast of Nick Gillespie’s interview with me.
In his kind introduction, Gillespie says that my …
… powerful new book, 30 Days a Black Man: The Forgotten Story That Exposed the Jim Crow South, documents Sprigle’s expose and does a masterful job of recreating an America in which de facto and de jure segregation was the rule not just in the former Confederacy but in much of the North as well. It’s a deeply disturbing and profoundly moving account of what Steigerwald, himself a veteran newsman whose previous book forced the publisher of John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley to reclassify the supposed travelogue as fiction, calls “superstars” fighting for equality under the law (along with Sprigle and Dobbs, Steigerwald points to NAACP head Walter White, who chose to identify as black despite being able to pass as white, and Eleanor Roosevelt, the former First Lady whose commitment to civil rights bore most of its fruit during the Truman years)
So far no one has accused me of plagiarism or of writing a boring book. And no one is complaining I didn’t use a single footnote.
At LibraryThing, the book cataloguing site, “Bookish 59” (aka Brenda of Queens) penned a smart and sweet review too.
Now it’s time for the heavyweight print reviewers — the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times — to give my book some serious attention, if not unconditional love, and drive up sales on Amazon and elsewhere so I can pretend to retire.
While we still wait for the Big Media, here’s a link to Timeline.com’s review by Nina Renata Aron on June 7: “This white reporter from Pittsburgh dressed like a black man for 30 days to expose Southern racism.