His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

Random Aug. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781984855022. $30. BIOG
In this focused biography, Meacham (The Hope of Glory) illuminates the life of U.S. Representative John Lewis (1940–2020) and his noble actions and strong principles that helped to influence the civil rights movement. Drawing on the author’s own interviews with Lewis, along with secondary resources, this account mostly focuses on Lewis’s life from childhood through 1968, with brief mention of events occurring shortly before his death this past July. Meacham presents the notion that Lewis embodies the traits of a saint, “a man of faith and action,” and he deftly draws correlations between the activist’s strong faith-based principles and his tireless dedication to the nonviolent fight for equality. Because of Lewis’s participation in so many aspects of the civil rights movement, the work also reads as a historical primer of the era touching on many of the pivotal figures and moments of the time, including lunch counter sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, the March on Washington, and Bloody Sunday in Selma, AL. The afterword, written by Lewis himself, speaks to the possibility of unity and is powerful and indicative of his character.
VERDICT A well-crafted testament to a tumultuous time in American history and to one of the brave men who helped shape the world we know today. Essential for all collections.
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