Summer 1943. Harlem is a never-ending carnival in the second year of the war. Yet underneath the glitter, its black residents remain second-class citizens, and the neighborhood is a tinderbox, waiting for a match.
Along these restless streets, two very different young men will cross paths. Their chance encounter will change both of their lives, and presage the battle for civil rights that is to come. Malcolm Little is a naive, cocky, troubled teenager and not yet the iconic civil rights leader Malcolm X. The Rev. Jonah Dove is the minister of one of Harlem's greatest churches, and lives in the blocks known as Strivers Row. Their lives intersect when Malcolm rescues Jonah and his wife from a group of drunken white soldiers. For Jonah, it is a crowning indignity that brings on a crisis of faith. But Malcolm, haunted by his own past, temporarily forgets the incident and plunges ecstatically into the nightlife of Harlem -- yet he finds it hollow at the core. Lonely and confused, he starts to have odd dreams and visions -- the beginning of a religious conversion that will overthrow his whole world.
As race riots break out across the homefront, and Harlem slides toward the brink, Jonah and Malcolm must confront their own demons. Their next meeting, in the midst of turmoil, will lead them both to make fateful choices, for themselves and for their people.
Completing his "City of Fire" trilogy, master storyteller Kevin Baker has once again woven an epic tale set against the panoramic backdrop of a vanished New York. Bold and exciting, evocative and unique, Strivers Row sets a new standard for modern historical fiction.
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The Rev. Jonah Dove is the son of a legendary Harlem minister, and a man troubled in both mind and spirit. He feels himself unworthy and incapable of taking up the burden of running his church from the larger–than–life figure who is his father. He is haunted both by his own, shameful history of "passing" as a white man in college, and by the prospects for his people in the harsh, new, racist age he fears the world is entering. Malcolm Little –– better known as Malcom X –– is a teenage hustler from Lansing, Michigan by way of Boston, a young man on the make, trying always to be something bigger, tougher, savvier, and more confident than he really is.
On his way to New York, Malcolm happens to come to the rescue of Jonah and his wife, Amanda, when they are attacked by some drunken soldiers on the train. From then on, their paths cross repeatedly as they each go about trying to find what they really want out of the roiling, wartime city, until the moment when Harlem finally erupts around them, as a people driven beyond endurance strikes out blindly at all the forces keeping it entrapped in misery and hopelessness. Stranded on the streets of a rioting city, Jonah and Malcolm meet each other once more, as they come to grips with what they are and what the future will hold for them.About the Author:
Kevin Baker is the bestselling author of the novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Sometimes You See It Coming. He is a columnist for American Heritage magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. He lives in New York City with his wife, the writer Ellen Abrams, and their cat, Stella.
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800608767151.0