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T H E A L A B A M A R E V I E W 294 broader political tensions between black freedom and gay rights efforts, but he displays again the personal empathy that moved him to action in Montgomery decades before. Given the contours of this astonishing life, one sometimes wishes for more from A White Preacher’s Message. Graetz is no prose stylist and the book occasionally devolves into somewhat plodding lists of people and events. Nor does the author give much substantive insight into his theology . Did Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr—Graetz’s fellow GermanAmerican Protestants—shape him as they shaped King and so many others ? These pages do not say, but the possibilities are intriguing. In 1952, when Graetz was a seminary student, Tillich published The Courage to Be (New Haven, 1952), his classic statement of religion’s existential power in a world of Cold War anxiety. In the same year, Niebuhr brought out The Irony of American History (New York, 1952), which highlighted the ideological contradictions in the nation’s past. Either title would be fitting for this book, a tale of amazing courage in a nation defined, then and now, by the bitter ironies of prejudice. JOSEPH KIP KOSEK George Washington University Peace and Freedom: The Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements in the 1960s. By Simon Hall. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. 267 pp. $22.50. ISBN 0-8122-1975-9. In May 1961 Martin Luther King Jr. denounced the abortive United States–sponsored invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Cuba. “Unless we as a nation . . . go back to the revolutionary spirit that characterized the birth of our nation,” he asserted, “I am afraid that we will be relegated to a second-class power in the world with no real moral voice to speak to the conscience of humanity” (pp. 8–9). Four years later, as the United States began to escalate its military efforts to thwart the revolutionary struggle in Vietnam, Bob Moses of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) opposed the war in Southeast Asia by explaining, “our criticism of Vietnam policy does not come from what we know of Vietnam, but from what we know of America” (p. 22). The civil rights struggle from which King and Moses emerged helped spawn the antiwar movement, and many of its key leaders were veterans of the battle for black freedom. Yet the organized peace movement consisted mainly of whites, despite considerable black opposition to the war. Why this was so provides the focus of Simon Hall’s book. O C T O B E R 2 0 0 7 295 Hall traces the largely unsuccessful attempts between 1965 and 1971 by black and white antiwar advocates to forge an interracial coalition against the Vietnam debacle. He covers familiar ground in portraying how voter registration workers in Mississippi became increasingly radicalized in the early 1960s as a result of the failure of the federal government to offer them protection from racist attacks by public officials and private terrorists. One civil rights worker explained: “I learned from the Ku Klux Klan and the Mississippi Highway Patrol, that you needed revolution and that there was no other way” (p. 22). SNCC’s experience in working with local people in Mississippi—what Hall refers to as the “organizing tradition,” a phrase borrowed from Charles Payne—set them apart from moderate black leaders who operated at the national level. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and National Urban League campaigned for racial justice among politicians in Washington and counted President Lyndon Johnson as their most important ally. Their strategy paid off in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. With their eyes strictly on advancing the civil rights cause, they rejected criticism of Johnson’s handling of Vietnam. When King broke away from this position and vigorously decried the war in 1967, he lost favor with the White House and with moderate black civil rights leaders. While moderates remained silent, black radicals were among the first to condemn the Vietnam War. Although black militants such as Bob Moses, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Gwendolyn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-9961
Print ISSN
0002-4341
Pages
pp. 294-296
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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