Jason Sokol - Little, Brown Book Group

Jason Sokol



Jason Sokol is the Arthur K. Withcomb Associate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire since 2016, and was previously a Fellow at Harvard College's Department of African and African American Studies. He holds a PhD in U.S. history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University and a Mellow Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Sokol's first book, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, received rave reviews and was named one of the best books of 2006 by the Washington Post Book World. He was also named one of America's "Top Young Historians" by the History News Network, and his writing has appeared in the Nation, the New York Times, Slate, and the Boston Globe. Sokol lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Books currently available by this author

Date published: New > Old

Basic Books

The Heavens Might Crack

Jason Sokol
Authors:
Jason Sokol

Martin Luther King Jr today is an uncontroversial figure, and we tend to see him as a saint whose legacy is entirely uncomplicated. But in 1968, King was a polarizing figure, and his assassination was met with uncomfortably mixed reactions. At the time of his death, King was scorned by many white Americans, worshiped by a segment of African Americans and liberal whites, deemed irrelevant by the younger generation of African Americans, and beloved overseas. He was a hero to many. But to some, he was part of an old guard that was no longer relevant, and to others he was nothing more than a troublemaker and a threat to the Southern way of life. In The Heavens Might Crack, historian Jason Sokol traces the diverse range of reactions to King's death, exploring how Americans - as well as others across the globe--experienced King's assassination, in the days, weeks, and months afterward. He looks at everything from rioting in inner cities to turbulence in Germany, from celebrations in many parts of the South to the growing gun control movement. Across all these responses, we see one clear trend: with King gone and the cities exploding, it felt like a gear in the machinery of the universe had shifted. Just a few years prior, with the enactment of landmark civil rights laws, interracial harmony appeared conceivable; peaceful progress toward civil rights even seemed probable. In an instant, such optimism had vanished. For many, King's death extinguished that final flicker of hope for a multiracial America. With that hope gone, King's assassination would have an indelible impact on American sentiments about race, and the civil rights landscape.The Heavens Might Crack is a deeply empathetic portrait of country grappling with the death of a complicated man. By highlighting how this moment was perceived across the nation, Sokol reveals the enduring consequences King's assassination had for the shape of his own legacy, the course of the Civil Rights Movement, and race relations in America.

Basic Books

All Eyes are Upon Us

Jason Sokol
Authors:
Jason Sokol

The Northeastern United States,home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South,has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us , these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region riven by segregation and deep-seated racism.White fans from across Brooklyn,Irish, Jewish, and Italian,came out to support Jackie Robinson when he broke baseball's colour barrier with the Dodgers in 1947, even as the city's blacks were shunted into segregated neighbourhoods. The African-American politician Ed Brooke won a senate seat in Massachusetts in 1966, when the state was 97% white, yet his political career was undone by the resistance to busing in Boston. Across the Northeast over the last half-century, blacks have encountered housing and employment discrimination as well as racial violence. But the gap between the northern ideal and the region's segregated reality left small but meaningful room for racial progress. Forced to reckon with the disparity between their racial practices and their racial preaching, blacks and whites forged interracial coalitions and demanded that the region live up to its promise of equal opportunity.A revelatory account of the tumultuous modern history of race and politics in the Northeast, All Eyes Are Upon Us presents the Northeast as a microcosm of America as a whole: outwardly democratic, inwardly conflicted, but always striving to live up to its highest ideals.