Monday, January 30, 2012

Seriously, a good series.

-->I’ve spent some time reading a book from a recently published series, Civil Rights Struggles Around the World.  

The Force Born of Truth: Mohandas Gandhi and the Salt March, India, 1920 by Betsy Kuhn (954.035 KuF 2011) was certainly a very informative read.  It provided a brief introduction to the life of Gandhi, where his ideas of nonviolent protest originated and a more thorough grounding into India’s struggle for independence from the British.
I thought there was enough information to get a handle on the ‘who, what and where’ without being overwhelmed. The section dealing with the Salt March is fairly long, encompassing its importance and the lengths to which the National Congress of India went to ensure its success.
Overall, the book is well written giving a concise report of events, implications and repercussions.  It also includes a timeline, list of people involved, source notes, bibliography, web resources and index. This is a good resource for a secondary student writing a report about Gandhi, or India or a specific example of a civil rights movement.  However, I don’t see a student picking the book and reading it cover-to-cover but selecting the bits most relevant for a report.  It does not provide any great personal insights into any of the many people involved. 
As a series, I was interested in the range of protest movements included.  If you say “Civil Rights Movement”, I immediately think of Black-Americans fighting for their rights in the 60s and 70s and there is one book in the series covering this.  Other American struggles include gay activists in the 1960s, migratory immigrant produce pickers in the 60s and 70s, and striking garment workers in 1909. International examples are Chinese student activists in 1989 at Tiananmen Square and South Africans fighting against apartheid laws in 1952.
Definitely worth a look.


GatheringBooks said...

Hi Tammy, ordinarily this is the type of book that I would skip over in our shelves. You're right, apart from getting the relevant factual information, resource materials such as this tend to be valued only for the snippets of information that they can provide. Thanks for sharing! :)

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