All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw (Paperback)

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All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw (Paperback)

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All God's Dangers won the National Book Award in 1975. "On a cold January morning in 1969, a young white graduate student from Massachusetts, stumbling along the dim trail of a long-defunct radical organization of the 1930s, the Alabama Sharecropper Union, heard that there was a survivor and went looking for him. In a rural settlement 20 miles or so from Tuskegee in east-central Alabama he found him—the man he calls Nate Shaw—a black man, 84 years old, in full possession of every moment of his life and every facet of its meaning. . . . Theodore Rosengarten, the student, had found a black Homer, bursting with his black Odyssey and able to tell it with awesome intellectual power, with passion, with the almost frightening power of memory in a man who could neither read nor write but who sensed that the substance of his own life, and a million other black lives like his, were the very fiber of the nation's history." —H. Jack Geiger, New York Times Book Review
Product Details ISBN: 9780226727745
ISBN-10: 0226727742
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2000
Pages: 600
Language: English
“Somewhere along the line, people stopped talking about it. Friends of mine who talk about nothing except Southern literature have barely heard of the book. I pounced on it after I discovered that Richard Howorth, the well-read owner of Square Books, the independent bookstore in Oxford, Miss., utters its title aloud every time a customer asks the question, 'What one book would you say best explains the South?' I wish I could say that, this early spring, I read All God’s Dangers in one sitting. It’s not that kind of book. It’s a meandering thing; its pleasures are intense but cumulative. This book rolls. But it is superb—both serious history and a serious pleasure, a story that reads as if Huddie Ledbetter spoke it while W. E. B. Du Bois took dictation. That it’s been largely forgotten is bad for it, but worse for us. . . . All God’s Dangers  . . . deserves a place in the front rank of American autobiographies. There are many reasons, in 2014, to attend to Ned Cobb’s [Nate Shaw’s] story.”
— Dwight Garner

“There are only a few American autobiographies of surpassing greatness. . . . Now there is another one, Nate Shaw’s.”
— New York Times

“Extraordinarily rich and compelling . . . possesses the same luminous power we associate with Faulkner.”
— Robert Coles

“Eloquent and revelatory. . . . This is an anthem to human endurance.”
— Studs Terkel

“The authentic voice of a warm, brave, and decent individual. . . . A pleasure to read. . . . Shaw’s observations on the life and people around him, clothed in wonderfully expressive language, are fresh and clear.”
— H.W. Bragdon

“Astonishing . . . Nate Shaw was a formidable bearer of memories. . . . Miraculously, this man’s wrenching tale sings of life’s pleasures: honest work, the rhythm of the seasons, the love of relatives and friends, the stubborn persistence of hope when it should have vanished . . . All God’s Dangers is most valuable for its picture of pure courage.”
— Paul Grey

“A triumph of ideas and historical content as well of expression and style.”
— Randall Jarrell

“Tremendous . . . a testimony of human nobility . . . the record of a heroic man with a phenomenal memory and a life experience of a kind of seldom set down in print. . . . a person of extraordinary stature, industrious, brave, prudent, and magnanimous. . . . One emerges from these hundred of pages wiser, sadder, and better because of them. A unique triumph!”
— Alfred C. Ames

“Awesome and powerful . . . A living history of nearly a century of cataclysmic change in the life of the Southerner, both black and white . . . Nate Shaw spans our history from slavery to Selma, and he can evoke each age with an accuracy and poignancy so pure that we stand amazed.”
— Baltimore Sun