Waging a Good War
Pub: October 4, 2022
Farrar Straus and GirouxPre-Order
With a masterful command of storytelling, Ricks deftly narrates the movement’s triumphs and defeats. He follows King and other key figures from Montgomery to Memphis, demonstrating how the philosophy of nonviolence encompassed active and even aggressive methods of confronting the Movement’s adversaries, both on the ground and in the court of public opinion. While bringing legends such as Fannie Lou Hamer and John Lewis into new focus, Ricks also highlights lesser-known figures who played critical roles in fashioning nonviolence into a potent weapon—the activists James Lawson, James Bevel, Diane Nash, and Septima Clark foremost among them. He also offers a new understanding of the Movement’s later difficulties as internal disputes and white backlash intensified. Rich with fresh interpretations of familiar events and overlooked aspects of America’s civil rights struggle, Waging a Good Waris an indispensable addition to the literature of racial justice and social change—and one that offers vital lessons for our own time.