The most recommended books about Montgomery Alabama

Who picked these books? Meet our 9 experts.

9 authors created a book list connected to Montgomery Alabama, and here are their favorite Montgomery Alabama books.
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Four Years in Rebel Capitals

By Thomas C. DeLeon,

Book cover of Four Years in Rebel Capitals: An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy From Birth to Death: From Original Notes, Collated in the Years 1861 to 1865

William C. Davis Author Of An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government

From the list on the politics of the Confederacy.

Who am I?

I find the early days of the Confederacy to be fascinating, a chance to look at Americans in the act of nation-making while surrounded by fear and crisis. Far more than in the convention of 1776, this episode offers sources that allow us to look inside their motives, and to evaluate them both as impractical rebels, and social and political idealists [albeit their idealism was always encased within the confines of a slave society]. Having written biographies of Jefferson Davis, Alexander H Stephens, Robert Toombs, and other Confederate politicians, this subject is a natural object of my interest. While I do not at all agree with or endorse the political measures they took in the secession crisis, I can feel some empathy for them and their people who felt themselves caught in a no-win position, facing [in their view] the possible destruction of their economy, society, and culture.

William's book list on the politics of the Confederacy

Why did William love this book?

It is one of the best first-person accounts we have of the adolescent days of the Confederacy in Montgomery, AL. De Leon is a fine writer who provides great pen portraits of the people involved, endless anecdotal detail on political and social life among the founders and their Montgomery hosts, and some penetrating insights into the jealousies and rivalries that helped to cripple their efforts from the outset.

By Thomas C. DeLeon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Four Years in Rebel Capitals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…

A Government of Our Own

By William C. Davis,

Book cover of A Government of Our Own: The Making of the Confederacy

George C. Rable Author Of Conflict of Command: George McClellan, Abraham Lincoln, and the Politics of War

From the list on the American Civil War beyond the usual battles.

Who am I?

I have been researching and writing about the era of the American Civil War for something over half a century. My passion for the subject remains strong today, having just published my seventh book. Given the seemingly endless amounts of material from soldiers and civilians alike, I have enjoyed deeply researching neglected subjects and writing about them in a way that appeals to both historians and general readers. For me the Civil War never grows stale, there are always little-used sources to research and fresh ideas to consider. The American Civil is omnipresent in my life—not excluding weekends and holidays!   

George's book list on the American Civil War beyond the usual battles

Why did George love this book?

A Government of Our is a richly textured history of the formation of the Confederate States of America replete with high drama and compelling characters. 

This is political history in the grand narrative tradition grounded in excellent research and provocative assessments. Davis renders sharp judgments on his subjects in often pungent prose. 

This is a book to savor and enjoy as the author presents his story in loving detail. Here is a fascinating mix of the personal and the political, the humorous and the sad, the ironic and the bizarre.

By William C. Davis,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Government of Our Own as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recounts the formation of the Confederacy, looks at the political forces that shaped it, and discusses the impact of slavery.

Found My People

By Richard Kweku Ezeagu Akinyemi,

Book cover of Found My People: How Connecting To My Ancestral Roots Enriched My Life and Can Do The Same For You

Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell Author Of Live Life on Fire: The Guide to the Ultimate Successful Life Full of Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment

From the list on answering the question "What am I living for?".

Who am I?

I have had the pleasure of exploring many career paths and businesses as an attorney, CPA, minister, life coach, media company CEO, publisher, international motivational speaker, and author. Yet it was not until illness from stage 4 endometriosis almost took me out that I realized that life happiness and success were not synonymous. I took the time to 1) figure out the difference and 2) create a pathway to joy. Joy is the step beyond happiness, and it ensures life satisfaction and longevity. And this is the answer to my question – and the topic – what am I living for? I am living for joy, peace, and fulfillment.

Lynita's book list on answering the question "What am I living for?"

Why did Lynita love this book?

Walking with the author on his journey from successful African American businessman in Montgomery, Alabama to empowered and enriched Nigerian and Ghana American now living in Accra, Ghana brings the echoes of Dr. King's "dream" to life in the halls of our hearts: we realize that to walk equally with others first requires that we know ourselves, proclaiming proudly who we are and whose we are. Found My People gives us the tools, encouragement, and benefits to do so.

This book will challenge your concept of heritage, delight you with the serendipities of destiny, and inspire you to find your people! I was inspired to extend my DNA search and dig deeper into my heritage because of it.

By Richard Kweku Ezeagu Akinyemi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Found My People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Make No Law

By Anthony Lewis,

Book cover of Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment

Sasha Issenberg Author Of The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage

From the list on Supreme Court cases.

Who am I?

Sasha Issenberg has been a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, and editor, and teaches in the political science department at UCLA. He is the author of four books, on topics as varied as the global sushi business, medical tourism, and the science of political campaigns. The most recent tackles his most sweeping subject yet: the long and unlikely campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States. One of his favorite discoveries in the decade he spent researching the book was that a movement that ended with a landmark Supreme Court decision had been catalyzed by a Honolulu activist’s public-relations stunt sprawling out of control twenty-five years earlier.

Sasha's book list on Supreme Court cases

Why did Sasha love this book?

Anthony Lewis’s Gideon’s Trumpet may be the most famous journalistic account of a single Supreme Court case, but his Make No Law has the more compelling origin story. A representative of the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Freedom in the South walks into The New York Times headquarters to take out an advertisement. When the full-page ad, headlined “Heed Their Rising Voices,” was published, a number of southern officials took issue with how it described their actions with regard to protesters; one of them, Montgomery, Alabama, police commissioner L. B. Sullivan decided to sue the Times for libel. A local all-white jury ruled in Sullivan’s favor, but the U.S. Supreme Court in 1964 reversed the decision, enshrining a high standard for public figures to sue for defamation. Lewis, who covered the case for the Times, delivers an account that only tracks the maturity of…

By Anthony Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make No Law as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A crucial and compelling account of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the landmark Supreme Court case that redefined libel, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning legal journalist Anthony Lewis.

The First Amendment puts it this way: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Yet, in 1960, a city official in Montgomery, Alabama, sued The New York Times for libel—and was awarded $500,000 by a local jury—because the paper had published an ad critical of Montgomery's brutal response to civil rights protests.

The centuries of legal precedent behind the Sullivan case and the U.S. Supreme Court's…

The Preacher King

By Richard Lischer,

Book cover of The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America

W. Jason Miller Author Of Origins of the Dream: Hughes's Poetry and King's Rhetoric

From the list on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his words.

Who am I?

Lost audio reels, archived poetry drafts, personal interviews, and undeveloped photograph negatives spark my compulsive curiosity to tell stories about language that people have never heard. Uncovering what is hidden has led to a digital project dedicated to Martin Luther King’s first “I Have a Dream” speech, a museum exhibit based on never-before-seen images of an 1,800 person KKK march staged in opposition to a King appearance in 1966, and an intimate interview with Dorothy Cotton about her memories of Dr. King. Of my three books, I have written a recent biography, Langston Hughes: Critical Lives. Part of my current research details the poet’s collaborative relationship with jazz singer Nina Simone.  

W.'s book list on Martin Luther King, Jr. and his words

Why did W. love this book?

This surprisingly approachable book is written by a genuine expert in the field. Well before I reached the end, I knew every landmark trait of the preacher would be fully covered. Where other authors such as Michael K. Honey cover King’s relationship to the labor movement with true aplomb, Lischer takes me deeper into the language where I live. Here cadence, delivery, and poetry are explored as expressive modes that empower real listeners to act. This book reminds us that inspiration was required as much as strategy when it came to moving the nation closer to its ideals.     

By Richard Lischer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Preacher King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a commonplace that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a spellbinding orator, and it is evident that he honed these skills in the pulpit, in his capacity as a Baptist minister. Until now, however, there has been no full-scale study of King as a preacher. This long-awaited study, drawing on tape-recordings and transcriptions of unpublished sermons, and interviews with King's parishioners and colleagues, promises to remedy that lack. Preaching to congregations was
never something King had "on the side," or dabbled in when he wasn't busy being a "civil rights activist," Lischer shows. Not only was preaching integral…

Dividing Lines

By J. Mills Thornton,

Book cover of Dividing Lines: Municipal Politics and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma

David J. Garrow Author Of Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

From the list on U. S. Black freedom struggle of the 1950s & 1960s.

Who am I?

I’m a legal historian, best-known for Bearing the Cross, my Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., but I’ve also written the standard history of Roe v. Wade (Liberty and Sexuality) as well as books on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Protest at Selma) and the FBI’s pursuit of Dr. King (The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.). I’ve been a top advisor for both the landmark PBS documentary series Eyes on the Prize and for the Library of America’s two-volume Reporting Civil Rights. More recently I’ve been featured in both the Academy Award-shortlisted documentary film MLK/FBI (Hulu) and in the Emmy Award-nominated documentary series Who Killed Malcolm X? (Netflix)

David's book list on U. S. Black freedom struggle of the 1950s & 1960s

Why did David love this book?

Black southern mass action against segregation commenced in Montgomery, AL with the 1955-56 bus boycott that catapulted Martin Luther King, Jr., to national fame, then finally broke through U. S. presidential ambivalence with the 1963 protests in Birmingham that were met with heavily-photographed police violence, and culminated with the 1965 Selma marches that led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act. These three Alabama cities represent the cornerstones of that dramatic 1955-1965 decade, and Thornton’s magisterial account of those movements’ local roots make it perhaps the most interpretively significant work of civil rights history ever written. A very close second is Adam Fairclough’s Race and Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915-1972.

By J. Mills Thornton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dividing Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With this bold offering from two decades of research, J. Mills Thornton III presents the story of the civil rights movement from the perspective of community-municipal history at the grassroots level. Thornton demonstrates that the movement had powerful local sources in its three birth cities - Montgomery, Birmingham, and Selma. There, the arcane mechanisms of state and city governance and the missteps of municipal politicians and civic leaders - independent of emerging national trends in racial mores - led to the great swell of energy for change that became the civil rights movement.


By Lonnie Coleman,

Book cover of Mark

Lance Ringel Author Of Flower of Iowa

From the list on gay male historical romances grounded in time.

Who am I?

I was never a little boy who played soldier. But when I was 13, I read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and developed a lifelong fascination (unusual for an American) with the First World War. Decades later, having achieved a happy life as a gay man, I started to wonder during the debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: What would life have been like for two soldiers in the Great War who fell in love? So, I traveled to the battlefields and cemeteries of France, and to the Imperial War Museum in London, and read anything and everything I could about WW1. And then I wrote Flower of Iowa.

Lance's book list on gay male historical romances grounded in time

Why did Lance love this book?

Coleman got very famous, and very rich, from Beulah Land, a trilogy of plantation life in the pre-Civil War South that was variously viewed as a much racier Gone with the Wind or simply dismissed as an interracial soap opera. What a surprise, then, to find he wrote this beautiful coming-of-age story about a sensitive boy who is a budding writer. The novel richly depicts Mark’s life in Alabama and Georgia during the 1930s and early ’40s. We are as elated as he is when he finally finds people who understand him, most notably his teacher, who is the kind of quietly strong woman character all too often overlooked in such a milieu, and equally, the unexpected young man with whom Mark finally finds a romance both exhilarating and heartbreaking.

By Lonnie Coleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The work of a superbly gifted writer at the height of his powers, Lonnie Coleman’s Mark is destined to become a classic—the wonderfully moving story of a young man growing up in a small southern town. It is a novel about the lives of ordinary people, the exploration of feelings, the capacity to love, the discovery of sexual choice.
Set in Montgomery, Alabama, and Savannah, Georgia, in the twenties and thirties, Mark is the story of a young boy, orphaned by death of both parents and raised by his aunt and uncle, from adolescence to adulthood, and ending with the…

Book cover of Origins of the Civil Rights Movements

James M. Jasper Author Of The Emotions of Protest

From the list on what drives protestors.

Who am I?

James M. Jasper has written a number of books and articles on politics and social movements since the 1980s, trying to get inside them to see what participants feel and think. In recent years he has examined the many emotions, good and bad, involved in political engagement. He summarizes what he has learned in this short book, The Emotions of Protest, taking the reader step by step through the emotions that generate actions, to those that link us to groups, down to the emotional and moral impacts of social movements. The book is hopeful and inspiring but at the same time also clear-eyed about the limitations of protest politics.

James' book list on what drives protestors

Why did James love this book?

Although a little older, this remains in my view the best book on the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the heroic period of Dr. King and the student sit-ins. Born and raised in rural Mississippi during that time, Morris tells a rich story of the influence of religion: the songs, prayers, and scriptural references, but also the material resources such as churches to meet in, networks of preachers to spread information, and the conduit for funds to flow from more affluent Black communities to those battling on the frontline during the bloody fight for civil rights.

By Aldon D. Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Origins of the Civil Rights Movements as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A “valuable, eye-opening work” (The Boston Globe) about the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Mrs. Rosa Parks, weary after a long day at work, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man…and ignited the explosion that was the civil rights movement in America. In this powerful saga, Morris tells the complete story behind the ten years that transformed America, tracing the essential role of the black community organizations that was the real power behind the civil rights movement. Drawing on interviews with more than fifty key leaders,…