Sokol, Jason 1977(?)-

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Sokol, Jason 1977(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1977; companion of Nina Louise Morrison (a playwright). Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1999; University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D., 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Ithaca, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Worked as a reporter for the Springfield Union-News, New Haven Advocate, and the Nation, 1997-2000; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, visiting assistant professor of history, 2006—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Non-Resident Fellowship, W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University, 2005.

WRITINGS:

There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jason Sokol served as a nonresident fellow at the Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and as a visiting assistant professor of history at Cornell University. His work at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute led to his involvement in several projects for television that focus on African-American history. Sokol's doctoral dissertation served as the basis for his first book, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975. Sokol writes about the experiences of white Southerners during the civil rights era, a period during which historians generally focus on the African-American experience. However, white Southerners also played a role in the civil rights movement, many of them serving as the opposition in an issue divided primarily along racial lines. Sokol addresses the protestors, the individuals who attempted to stop civil rights legislation, and those who took violent action in their fight to maintain their way of life in a fight that in some ways mimicked the Civil War. But Sokol devotes the majority of the book to the experiences of white Southerners who were unsure of their stand in the struggle—neither entirely for nor entirely against the idea of equal rights regardless of race or color.

James Goodman, writing for the New York Times, observed that Sokol's "book is brimming with the duly acknowledged observations and insights of writers—among them Robert Coles, Melissa Fay Greene, Diane McWhorter and J. Mills Thornton—who have told nuanced stories about the white South. His notes and bibliography include the names of others. Nonetheless, our memories are short. There is always room for a good book, especially one written by a historian with energy and empathy—and a really good ear." Vanessa Bush, writing for Booklist, called Sokol's effort "a fascinating look at a side of the civil rights movement that has not been widely explored." A critic for Kirkus Reviews called the book "a well-conceived study of the changes in thought and being that swept the white South as its privileged position came under challenge in the Civil Rights era." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found the volume to be "an invaluable and much-needed addition to our understanding of how the Civil Rights movement was actually lived."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August 1, 2006, Vanessa Bush, review of There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975, p. 19.

Chicago Tribune Books, September 17, 2006, James Ralph, "Adding Voices to the Civil Rights Narrative," p. 4.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2006, review of There Goes My Everything, p. 565.

Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Stephen K. Shaw, review of There Goes My Everything, p. 86.

New York Times Book Review, September 10, 2006, James Goodman, "Across the Great Divide," p. 26.

Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2006, review of There Goes My Everything, p. 57.

Tuscaloosa News, October 15, 2006, Ben Windham, "Young Yankee Plumbs Psyche of White South."

Washington Post, August 20, 2006, Jonathan Yardley, "A Young Historian Explores What the Struggle for Freedom Meant for White Neighbors of Southern Blacks," p. BW02; December 3, 2006, Jonathan Yardley, "Slavery and Civil Rights Figure Prominently in a Critic's Pick of the Year's Best Books," p. BW2.

Wilson Quarterly, autumn, 2006, Roy Reed, "The South's Hard Swallow," p. 102.

ONLINE

Jason Sokol Home Page,http://www.jasonsokol.com (January 25, 2007).

San Francisco Chronicle Online,http://www.sfgate.com/ (August 30, 2006), Colin Fleming, "The Civil Rights Struggle, Seen from the Other Side."

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Sokol, Jason 1977(?)-

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