March: Book Three - Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, John Lewis Gaddis

The final book in the March trilogy takes on the Selma march as the main plotline, but also shows how the differing CRM groups had conflicting agendas and intra-fighting led Lewis away from SNCC and towards working with all the groups. He also takes on the bombing of the church that killed four young girls, the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Malcolm X along with a trip to Africa to speak with activists working for their respective countries' independence from colonial rule. There is a lot of history, both personal and country, packed in this book.

 

I think LBJ gets a little too much credit for the signing of the Civil Rights legislation, and the story from Rep John Lewis about how that legislation came about shows the shrewd back room manipulations that are very familiar to modern readers.

 

I don't know how to explain it, but this series made history come alive in a way I just couldn't get from history textbooks or documentaries - those resources look at the Civil Rights Movement era in such clinical terms and dates/places. Rep John Lewis' story focused on the people and their work, setbacks and victories that make them relatable to modern readers and activists.

 

Highly recommend.