Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election and cuts between the two eras as it unfolds.
Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication. While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint - at the same time dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a '60s activist - Toussaint is abducted by two improbable but still dangerous white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Obama's planned rally in Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as idealistic, impatient young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.
©2015 Leonard Pitts, Jr. (P)2015 Tantor
"[I]nfused with vivid characterizations and canny verisimilitude..." (Kirkus)
Leonard Pitts' fiction just gets better and better, as evidenced by Grant Park. A very timely, trenchant, and heartfelt story. Believable, likeable characters and a worthy effort to get into the heads of white extremists. Well crafted story that weaves back and forth between fast-moving events of the current day and civil rights era Memphis. This book was over too soon! Keep 'em comin', Mr. Pitts.
I enjoyed the reader, great imitation of President Obama's voice . The story had quite a bit of commentary about the black experience. The author tried to explain to non- black audiences, but I' m not sure anyone can understand your experiences , unless they walk in your shoes.
Recaptured the Era
The way it transported me back to the events of my youth. I served in Vietnam and also experienced the 60's on both coasts and in rural Illinois and Chicago. This book captures the intense, surreal atmosphere I remember. Tear gas and napalm. Attack dogs and unfathomable hatred. Fear. Draft dodgers in Canada, deserters in Sweden. LBJ, J Edgar, JFK, RFK, MLK , Malcom X and Muhammad Ali.
Malcom Toussaint because he best represented the civil rights era, its awkward transition to post-modernity, and the resulting schizoid mentality of a brutal nation.
Thank you Leonard Pitts Jr.
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