Protest: A History of Social Movements in America Reviews

Protest: A History of Social Movements in America: ISBN 978-1-6782-0090-9/ eBook: 978-1-6782-0091-6
School Library Connection, Nov/Dec 2021

Historically, brave citizens have continuously fought for equality, inclusiveness, and fairness. The First Amendment gives all individuals the right to gather and protest peacefully, and over the last 100 years, that is exactly what citizens of America have done. In doing so, they helped sway public opinion in the push to exit the unwinnable Vietnam War, passed legislation that gave women the right to vote, banished Jim Crow Laws, and made it legal for gay and lesbian individuals to marry. In this book, students will learn the history of events such as the largely peaceful boycotts and sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement, which only turned violent when white men beat protestors and threw bricks, rotten food, and lit cigarettes at them. Readers will be amazed to learn that it took three generations of women to pass suffrage, and that many activists died without ever obtaining the right to vote. They will be appalled at laws that were passed to actively discriminate against people such as convoluted “literacy tests” that were required of Black voters, laws that made it illegal to “masquerade” (dress as the opposite sex), and those which prohibited three or more gay individuals from gathering together on a street. While there is still a lot of work to be done, students will be inspired by the courage of these citizens, many of whom were not much older than themselves. Full-color and black-and-white photos illustrate the importance of these events and help to make the material more accessible to the intended audience. Recommended for public, middle, and high school libraries.
Karen M. Smith, Head of Children's Services, Livonia Public Library, Livonia, Michigan

Protest: A History of Social Movements in America: ISBN 978-1-6782-0090-9/ eBook: 978-1-6782-0091-6
Kirkus Reviews, August 3, 2021

A brief yet informative run-through of the role and significance played by unified group action in American society's advancement.
The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees citizens, among other rights, the freedom to protest. This book offers summaries of some crucial moments in U.S. history when that right has been exercised. It touches on the basis for and evolution of movements that have brought about both gradual and radical changes that were—and in some cases, still remain—necessary for the progression of society in ways that are most fair and equitable for its members. The examples featured illustrate that human rights advocacy is enacted in a variety of ways and usually requires risk and sacrifice for uncertain payoff. The examples given in the chapters following the introduction are the struggle for women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement (up through Black Lives Matter), protests against the Vietnam War, the fight for gay rights, and the environmental movement. Kallen also mentions counterprotesters and adjacent or similar movements that aided each other, offering context. The easy-to-read writing is succinct and, enhanced by the inclusion of well-chosen photos that highlight pivotal events, will serve as a digestible foundation and gateway for readers interested in these subject areas.
A concise entry point for understanding the role protests have played in shaping America. (picture credits, source notes, organizations and websites, further research, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)