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At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990's Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arka At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990's Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, it won an American Book Award. On September 3, 1957, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to surround all-white Central High School and prevent the entry of nine black students, challenging the Supreme Court's 1954 order to integrate all public schools. On September 25, Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP in Arkansas, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower-the first time in eighty-one years that a president had dispatched troops to the South to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. This new edition of Bates's own story about these historic events is being issued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock School crisis in 2007.


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At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990's Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arka At an event honoring Daisy Bates as 1990's Distinguished Citizen then-governor Bill Clinton called her "the most distinguished Arkansas citizen of all time." Her classic account of the 1957 Little Rock School Crisis, The Long Shadow of Little Rock, couldn't be found on most bookstore shelves in 1962 and was banned throughout the South. In 1988, after the University of Arkansas Press reprinted it, it won an American Book Award. On September 3, 1957, Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to surround all-white Central High School and prevent the entry of nine black students, challenging the Supreme Court's 1954 order to integrate all public schools. On September 25, Daisy Bates, an official of the NAACP in Arkansas, led the nine children into the school with the help of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower-the first time in eighty-one years that a president had dispatched troops to the South to protect the constitutional rights of black Americans. This new edition of Bates's own story about these historic events is being issued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock School crisis in 2007.

30 review for The Long Shadow of Little Rock: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This was an eye-opening book for me. I hope to read more about this subject. I am proud though that my Dad was one of the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division who were sent to Little Rock to protect Little Rock Nine.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angelique Simonsen

    An amazing memoir of an incredibly strong group of people and the major civil rights battle of Little Rock. The absolutely mind blowing strength of character the intergrationists displayed is one that should humble you and inspire you to be open minded and kind when it comes to others.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Really admire Daisy Bates for her courageous life and her contribution to civil rights progress in the early part of the movement. Her story as recounted in this book is compelling if a bit precious in parts. An incredible story nonetheless.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hendrix

    An amazing Civil Rights memoir that demonstrates incredible courage and insight into race relations in the 1950s South. You know that is going to be good when Elenore Roosevelt writes the original foreword!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    "How long? How long?" Daisy Bates questions. How long will racial inequality last in the United States? Mrs. Bates has since passed, but in 2012 evidence that this country still has miles to go remains. This story of the Little Rock Nine compliments other memoirs, notably that of Melba Patillo Beals, and is told from the perspective of an adult woman experiencing the persecution of the forced integration of Central High School. I really enjoyed the explanation of each student as well as the unabas "How long? How long?" Daisy Bates questions. How long will racial inequality last in the United States? Mrs. Bates has since passed, but in 2012 evidence that this country still has miles to go remains. This story of the Little Rock Nine compliments other memoirs, notably that of Melba Patillo Beals, and is told from the perspective of an adult woman experiencing the persecution of the forced integration of Central High School. I really enjoyed the explanation of each student as well as the unabashed, tell it like it is style of writing. "In the great struggle of the colored peoples of the world for equality and independence - the struggle that is one of the truly crucial events of the twentieth century - the episode of the children in Little Rock is a landmark of historic significance". For the world today it seems Mrs. Bates' question is still a legitimate one, that must be answered if this country truly ever wants to be the promised land. Very well written, very personal and real. Highly recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lois Brandt

    One of the best books I've read this year. Published in 1962, The Long Shadow chronicles the integration of Little Rock's all-white high school. The narrative is riveting, and the detail appalling. What resonates so strongly in 2018 is that Daisy Bates wrote this memoir in the midst of the struggle for civil rights. She didn't know which way the citizens of the United States were going to go. Whether they would honor the founding principal that all people are created equal, and have the right to One of the best books I've read this year. Published in 1962, The Long Shadow chronicles the integration of Little Rock's all-white high school. The narrative is riveting, and the detail appalling. What resonates so strongly in 2018 is that Daisy Bates wrote this memoir in the midst of the struggle for civil rights. She didn't know which way the citizens of the United States were going to go. Whether they would honor the founding principal that all people are created equal, and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or whether Americans would abandon the principles on which this country was built and strengthen the hatred and bigotry that is an undying fungus in so many American hearts. There has been profound progress since 1962, but reading this is a reminder that, in many horrifying ways, not that much has changed.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    I was reading this as background research for a graduate school paper, and kept getting sucked in by the story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone studying the Brown v. Board decision, the Little Rock crisis, or just the Civil Rights movement or the NAACP in the 1950s. She tells the story with an excellent narrative voice and I was constantly left short of breath, thick tears in my throat. I think it made it all the stronger for me that I read it right after I read Virgil Blossom's I was reading this as background research for a graduate school paper, and kept getting sucked in by the story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone studying the Brown v. Board decision, the Little Rock crisis, or just the Civil Rights movement or the NAACP in the 1950s. She tells the story with an excellent narrative voice and I was constantly left short of breath, thick tears in my throat. I think it made it all the stronger for me that I read it right after I read Virgil Blossom's memoir "It HAS happened here" about the same time in Little Rock history. The distinctly different perspectives between the white Superintendent of Schools and the black state president of the NAACP would make an excellent basis for a unit in middle or high school.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nandi Crawford

    I read this years ago and really enjoyed it. Because of an upcoming event at my local library, I got a digital copy of her book and now it's in my hands. What kind of crushed me is her way of watching that man who had a hand in killing her mother. That was compelling. I liked to feel that God put them on the path of each other for a reason. So this man can see what he's caused, and she can face her mother's killer. But finding out about that did something inside her that just turned ugly for her I read this years ago and really enjoyed it. Because of an upcoming event at my local library, I got a digital copy of her book and now it's in my hands. What kind of crushed me is her way of watching that man who had a hand in killing her mother. That was compelling. I liked to feel that God put them on the path of each other for a reason. So this man can see what he's caused, and she can face her mother's killer. But finding out about that did something inside her that just turned ugly for her a child. No child should have to hear about such a thing. But it prepared her for what she had to endure later on I feel. Darn good bio. sorry it is out of print but google got it in e-reader form.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A powerful book. Mrs. Bates describes her life with honest facts that shed light on the not so subtle reality of Jim Crow. She does not try to manipulate the reader. As a native of Little Rock, I found the book to be historically significant and even though it was written in the 60s, I would recommend it to anyone as a way to better understand the daily steps that we can all take to improve civility for all mankind.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kay Hommedieu

    Although the content (was good) of the history of the Little Rock Nine of whom Mrs. Bates was the advisor and daily chaperone whom the nine studied with each day, the writing of Mrs. Bates could have used more polish. This short book was lagging in several places. The best part of the content was Mrs. Bates' description of each of the students and how they were able to withstand the disgrace of attending an all white school, both teachers and students. 2/2/2018 Although the content (was good) of the history of the Little Rock Nine of whom Mrs. Bates was the advisor and daily chaperone whom the nine studied with each day, the writing of Mrs. Bates could have used more polish. This short book was lagging in several places. The best part of the content was Mrs. Bates' description of each of the students and how they were able to withstand the disgrace of attending an all white school, both teachers and students. 2/2/2018

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachele

    I read this book for my class The Turbulent 1960s, and I thought it was a harrowing, gripping, well-written memoir. I gasped out loud several times during reading. Reading specifically as the story talks about the LR9 and their experiences when they finally get into classes just wowed me. Although I'm giving this 3 stars, it was a very good memoir, but I just liked it, didn't love it because it was dry and drug out at times! I read this book for my class The Turbulent 1960s, and I thought it was a harrowing, gripping, well-written memoir. I gasped out loud several times during reading. Reading specifically as the story talks about the LR9 and their experiences when they finally get into classes just wowed me. Although I'm giving this 3 stars, it was a very good memoir, but I just liked it, didn't love it because it was dry and drug out at times!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Heartbreaking and powerful. Interesting to read a different perspective (an adult helping) on the Little Rock High School integration in 1957, in Arkansas, USA, comparing it to A Mighty Long Way and Warriors Don’t Cry written by two of the students. While the writing isn’t that complex, the subject matter is compelling and inspiring.

  13. 5 out of 5

    marty

    really dissapointed to give this only 2 stars. i love daisy bates and her story, but this book is just not written very well. i would still say it is one of my favorite books, but purely b/c of my admiration for her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Everyone should read this memoir and then think hard about racism in today's world. Everyone should read this memoir and then think hard about racism in today's world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donna Wessel Walker

    Excellent and devastating record of the struggle to integrate Central HS in Little Rock

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Another fascinating look at what happened during the 1957 Little Rock high school integration.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Daisy Bates' book about her experiences growing up in a segregated south, racism and tragedy marking her from a young age, and how that spurred her into becoming the leader she turned into is a must for anyone trying to understand not only the crisis of 1957 in Little Rock, but also one of the most famous civil rights leaders of the time. I do wonder if some of her comments about how the kids were all doing just fine, after being subjected to what they endured, was just a bit of sugar coating it Daisy Bates' book about her experiences growing up in a segregated south, racism and tragedy marking her from a young age, and how that spurred her into becoming the leader she turned into is a must for anyone trying to understand not only the crisis of 1957 in Little Rock, but also one of the most famous civil rights leaders of the time. I do wonder if some of her comments about how the kids were all doing just fine, after being subjected to what they endured, was just a bit of sugar coating it. After reading Elizabeth and Hazel and learning all about Elizabeth Eckford's life long struggle with mental illness, it is clear that she struggled and suffered tremendously. The children seemed like they were excellent actors, able to put up a front so that the adults around them couldn't figure out how much they were suffering. I did appreciate this book and it's point of view about what was going on in the lives of the adults involved, that had not been discussed at length in any of the other books I've read so far about the subject.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue Gosland

    This was a fascinating look at a piece of US history I was not as informed about as I thought. It was amazing to be able to read and experience what the children, and the adults around them, actually went through. This was written in 1962, not too many years after the events that she wrote about occurred, so there isn't a lot of time to see the impact of what happened on the United States in regard to race relations. While it may appear there has been a lot of improvement in these areas, it is a This was a fascinating look at a piece of US history I was not as informed about as I thought. It was amazing to be able to read and experience what the children, and the adults around them, actually went through. This was written in 1962, not too many years after the events that she wrote about occurred, so there isn't a lot of time to see the impact of what happened on the United States in regard to race relations. While it may appear there has been a lot of improvement in these areas, it is also sad to realize there is still a lot of work to do. I really enjoyed this book. It should be required reading in schools.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan Elizabeth

    It’s more important than ever to learn about people like Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine. Her memoir is poignant and personal, and humanizes the children who endured years of abuse all for the honorable pursuit of desegregation. It helps me to put in perspective what the work is, what has been done, and how much we still have left to do, as well as the temerity and honesty needed to achieve it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Raechel Cain

    A must read

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

    Its quite interesting to read this book in 2019. Written in 1962, Daisy Bates describes how things have changed (or not) in the five years since the Integration Crisis of 1957.

  22. 4 out of 5

    K

    I had to put the book down at least ten times just to take in the events that happen in this story, so shocking is the book. I am in awe of this woman's strength and courage to improve education for American citizens. She needs more schools, more highways, and more libraries named after her. I have wanted to read this book ever since visiting the Central High School historic site in Little Rock, Arkansas. Not only is this an astounding memoir of freedom struggle, it is an extraordinary read about I had to put the book down at least ten times just to take in the events that happen in this story, so shocking is the book. I am in awe of this woman's strength and courage to improve education for American citizens. She needs more schools, more highways, and more libraries named after her. I have wanted to read this book ever since visiting the Central High School historic site in Little Rock, Arkansas. Not only is this an astounding memoir of freedom struggle, it is an extraordinary read about bad political leadership and how it can tear apart a community. The events in this book still impact the community of Little Rock to this day, sixty years later. Arkansas has worked hard to heal this, designating President's Day also #DaisyBates day, and naming an elementary school after her. President Clinton called her the most distinguished citizen of Arkansas of all time and posthumously awarded her the Congressional Gold Medal. I can not recommend this book enough as a book club or individual read. This book would astonish any American reader into asking, 'and just what have we, the American people, accomplished in the meantime on integration?' Say her name: #DaisyBates!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chyina Powell

  25. 4 out of 5

    McPhaul M.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rhea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Douno Phan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ron Sitton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mounia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Ogle

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