The best books about Montgomery Alabama 📚

Browse the best books on Montgomery Alabama as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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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

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

By Thomas C. DeLeon

Why 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.

From the list:

The best books on the politics of the Confederacy: the inner world of the 'Lost Cause'

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

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

By J. Mills Thornton

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books on the Black American freedom struggle of the 1950s and 1960s

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

Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment

By Anthony Lewis

Why 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…
From the list:

The best books about Supreme Court cases (and the stories behind them)

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

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

By Richard Lischer

Why 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.     

From the list:

The best books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his words

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Book cover of Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

By Phillip Hoose

Why this book?

Claudette Colvin best summarized making good trouble when she said, “When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” In this beautiful book, Philip Hoose shines a light on the extraordinary, but little-known teenager, Claudette Colvin, who sparked the historic bus boycott, even before Rosa Parks. Through Colvin’s own words, Hoose brings to life the segregated world in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1950s. I picked this book so that readers will learn that many who change the world receive…

From the list:

The best books about making “good trouble”

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Book cover of Bury Me When I'm Dead

Bury Me When I'm Dead

By Cheryl A Head

Why this book?

Detroit is where Charlene “Charlie” Mack runs a private detective business. Her life is as complex as the Motor City. Charlie struggles with her sexuality while caring for her ailing mother. A theft investigation leads Charlie and her team down to Birmingham, Alabama. Reading about Charlie’s exploits in Detroit rekindled memories of eating Ethiopian food in Detroit and taking the train from Michigan to Toronto, Canada. I lived in Montgomery, Alabama and remember visiting the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. 

From the list:

The best mystery novels for mature Black women

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