A Most Tolerant Little Town: The Explosive Beginning of School Desegregation


Product Details

$29.99  $27.89
Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Rachel Louise Martin is a writer and public intellectual. She holds a PhD in women's and gender history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, Oxford American, The Atlantic online, Bitter Southerner, CityLab, and Catapult. She has been featured on the BBC's Food Chain, KCRW's Good Food, and The Michelle Meow Show.


"Rachel Louise Martin's masterful narrative will stir and break your heart."
--Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of America in the King Years
"Martin's deep research and sparkling narrative tear away the protective gauze of selective memory to uncover the personal cost of our nation's long battles over racial equality. A timely reminder of the importance of honestly wrestling with the hard and heartbreaking parts of our history."
--Elaine Weiss, author of The Woman's Hour
"Rachel Louise Martin has rescued this essential story in an illuminating and surprising account."
--James S. Hirsch, author of Riot and Remembrance
"With painstaking attention to detail and a careful reading of archives both written and oral, Rachel Louise Martin has resurrected a history that explains the triumph and loss connected to American school desegregation. A Most Tolerant Town uncovers a not so distant forgotten past and forces readers to confront the intractability of race and American education."
--Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught
"A compassionate and nuanced portrait... [Martin] strikes an expert balance between the big picture and intimate profiles of the families involved. The result is a vivid snapshot of the civil rights-era South."
--Publishers Weekly
--BookPage (Starred Review)
--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Martin's book provided the disturbing, destabilizing experience of being thrust back into a period of intense racial hatred as if it were happening in real time... a meticulous, day-by-day reconstruction of relentless bigotry in action.... A historian who began researching the Clinton events in 2005, Martin renders them with precision, lucidity and, most of all, a heart inured to false hope."
--The New York Times
"[Martin] lets people speak for themselves, and their voices come through on the page, giving the narrative an emotional veracity.... Thanks to the author's descriptive storytelling, skillful pacing, and respect for her subject, A Most Tolerant Little Town offers a vivid portrayal Clinton High School's long-ago desegregation and the lingering consequences of racism... across the nation."
--Washington Independent Review of Books
"One of the most intriguing aspects of Martin's book is the way she shows how white views differed and evolved over time.... For all its nuanced exploration of a time that seems both remote and sadly familiar, A Most Tolerant Little Town pulls no punches."
--Chapter 16