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Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker: This book is dense, to say the least. With a focus on black culture over the course of modern history, primary through the eyes of a coloured newspaper in Pittsburg, Smoketown offers an in-depth look at everything from sports, to music, to the contributions of black Americans in war efforts, politics, and economic development. I really enjoyed this book—for what I read of it. My only criticism is that each chapter, typically focused on one area of culture and a single individual, had so much history and so many names packed into a single chapter that the process of reading got tiring. If I were reading this to research the influence of black culture on historical USA developments over time, this would be a great resource. However, for an entertainment read, there was far too much included in this read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in black history, and a perspective on how an industrial USA develops over time, but be warned—this book depends all of your attention, and stamina.

February 15, 2021 2021 reviews books


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