Books on Monday: There Goes My Everything

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A very inadequate zoom shot of the top of York Avenue, with Harlem a blur in the distance.

There Goes My Everything, Jason Sokol’s study of the white response to the struggle for civil rights, appears at a time when I find myself coming round to the view that struggle for equal civil rights for black Americans fractured the United States at least as badly as many white supremacists feared that it would — in what turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For a long time, as the dust seemed to settle, I stupidly wondered if the movement had been a success. A sense that its achievement was not altogether complete eventually gave way to a recognition that it was merely the opening assault in a war against patriarchy that the most fierce abolitionists may have been unwilling to undertake. “What Is Wrong With America Today”? The America that everybody professes to love and root for is as defunct as Colonial Williamsburg — and we all know it. We had better get to work on breathing some life into its successor.

There Goes My Everything.

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