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On Juneteenth Hardcover – 1 June 2021

4.7 out of 5 stars 970 ratings

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Review

"If this book is a departure for [Gordon-Reed], it’s still guided by the humane skepticism that has animated her previous work. In a series of short, moving essays, she explores ‘the long road’ to June 19, 1865, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in Texas, the state where Gordon-Reed was born and raised… No matter what she’s looking at, Gordon-Reed pries open this space between the abstract and particular… Gordon-Reed acknowledges that origin stories matter, even if they often have more to say about “our current needs and desires” than with the facts of history, which are often stranger and less assimilable than any self-serving mythology will allow… One of the things that makes this slender book stand out is Gordon-Reed’s ability to combine clarity with subtlety, elegantly carving a path between competing positions, instead of doing as too many of us do in this age of hepped-up social-media provocations by simply reacting to them. In ‘On Juneteenth’ she leads by example, revisiting her own experiences, questioning her own assumptions ― and showing that historical understanding is a process, not an end point." -- Jennifer Szalai - The New York Times

"'The Education of Henry Adams’ is the second most influential memoir in American letters, after Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. Annette Gordon-Reed’s insightful, often touching reflection on the Black experience in Texas, starting with her own, lands between these two." -- H.W. Brands - The New York Times Book Review

"Juneteenth was a day long-celebrated by many Black communities in Texas and across America, but only in the past year or two has it become a more widely recognized holiday. In her slim but potent book, Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning historian and Harvard professor Annette Gordon-Reed explores the story of that day and all the ways that Black and Native people’s lives have been obscured in culture. As a Texas native, Gordon-Reed offers a book that is both profound and personal in its exploration of the ways history shapes our lives and becomes distorted and reinvigorated over time.
" -- The Best Books of 2021 So Far - TIME Magazine

"... Gordon-Reed offers a timely history lesson. She does so with beautiful prose, breathtaking stories and painful memories. Like the story of Juneteenth itself, the history she tells is one of yarns woven, dark truths glossed over and freedom delayed." -- Daina Ramey Berry - The Washington Post

"... Gordon-Reed is the textbook definition of public intellectual; and yet she gets personal in this slender, evocative memoir, blending gorgeous details from her small-town Texas girlhood with the unofficial celebration of slavery’s demise and the broader canvas of race in America..." -- 20 of the Best Books to Pick Up This May - Oprah Daily

From the Back Cover

Praise for Annette Gordon-Reed

"Annette Gordon-Reed has broken a path into territory that has hitherto eluded historians." --Edmund S. Morgan

"If this country has a modern Shakespeare looking for material, Gordon-Reed has provided it." --David W. Blight

"One cannot imagine another historian matching [Annette Gordon-Reed's] exhaustive research and interpretive balance." --David Levering Lewis

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Product details

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 152 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1631498835
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1631498831
  • Customer reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 970 ratings

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 74 reviews
C
5.0 out of 5 stars A Texan's perspective on the history of slavery and race relations in Texas
4 May 2021 - Published on Amazon.com
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58 people found this helpful
Mindo'ermatter
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Read of Emancipation Shortfalls
6 May 2021 - Published on Amazon.com
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26 people found this helpful
M Prywes
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas is special.
7 May 2021 - Published on Amazon.com
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24 people found this helpful