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Publisher's Summary

C. P. Ellis grew up in the poor white section of Durham, North Carolina, and as a young man joined the Ku Klux Klan. Ann Atwater, a single mother from the poor black part of town, quit her job as a household domestic to join the civil rights fight.

During the 1960s, as the country struggled with the explosive issue of race, Atwater and Ellis met on opposite sides of the public school integration issue. Their encounters were charged with hatred and suspicion. In an amazing set of transformations, however, each of them came to see how the other had been exploited by the South's rigid power structure, and they forged a friendship that flourished against a backdrop of unrelenting bigotry.

Rich with details about the rhythms of daily life in the mid-20th-century South, The Best of Enemies offers a vivid portrait of a relationship that defied all odds. By placing this very personal story into broader context, Osha Gray Davidson demonstrates that race is intimately tied to issues of class and that cooperation is possible - even in the most divisive situations - when people begin to listen to one another.

©2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2017 Osha Gray Davidson

What listeners say about The Best of Enemies

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  • 04-17-19

WOW!! NO other words are needed!!!!!!!!

what one person could describe what has happened since then? Being of mixed race.. it's hard for one on either side... you're too white to be black and too black to be white! I'm glad that they fought for people in the middle

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More of a history lesson!

I bought this book to hear the story of Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis, I am on chapter 6 and they have barely been mentioned. This book is 80% history. I am a civil rights buff so it is not that I don't enjoy the history of the civil rights movement, its just not what I expected in this book. So as an FYI to other purchasers I am writing this review before I finish the book. I do hope they get to the main individuals soon.

2 people found this helpful

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Reminds me of Nelson Mandela

It is too bad we don’t find more people like this in our society, and in our world.

1 person found this helpful

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Growth from within a man's soul

This audiobook was touching and deliberating detailed about the background, struggles and life-changing relations that he came to. Like Saul changing to Paul with the glory of the relations of being wrong, this story demonstrates that we can grow to be greater than we once were.

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If you have seen the movie this is better by far!

I’ve seen the movie several times as I find the story moving and up lifting. I believe in this story even more today than when it happened. We are all the same when you get right down to it! This just proves it! I now have both the book and the movie and watching the two main characters with each other shows how true we are all the same!

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I would love to see the movie too!

I wish everybody would take the time to read this story. People feel the same sadness and joy when faced with hardship and happiness. It's terrible how manipulation of circumstances can make people become so polarized that they can't see straight. The world would be so much more enjoyable if every day people could realize how much we all have in common with each other and agree to live/work together.

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Love sees no color

Reading this book made me happy, sad scared, and educated. I want to be the best human being to all types of people this book is kind of a how to. Be nice let other's talk listen really listen, but understand that change doesn't happen right away. I am going through changes in my life and wish some of them would be fixed quickly but reading this reminds me be patient.

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Lots of History Here

I have not seen the movie yet, but there was way too much information in this book to be able to put on the big screen. Loved the detailed background of how these different personalities emerged throughout the years.

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really interesting

So this book was pretty eye opening. enjoyed the story and learning about the people

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One of the most important books you will ever read

In this divisive time, the lesson of this book that all people have an inherent dignity, should be trumpeted in every corner of the planet.