Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America's Most Exclusive Shoreline


Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.1 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Andrew W. Kahrl is associate professor of history and African American studies at the University of Virginia. His first book, The Land Was Ours, received the Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians.


"A well-documented--and dispiriting--history of prejudice and inequality. . . . An unsparing exposé."--Kirkus Reviews
"Engrossing . . . An important addition to the literature on 20th-century racism in the North."--Library Journal
"The successes and failures of the activists give us plenty of lessons today."--Connecticut Magazine
"Essential reading for anyone interested in the state's history of race relations."--The Sunday Republican
"Kahrl . . . tells this story of popular resistance to inequality with authority and verve."--The National Book Review
"An important book."--Tom Condon, CT Mirror
"Essential reading for historians interested in income and racial inequality, land use, and the relationship between law and social movements."--Law and History Review
Winner of the Homer D. Babbidge Award, sponsored by the Association for the Study of Connecticut History
Winner of the 2019 Connecticut Book Awards, non-fiction category, sponsored by Connecticut Center for the Book
"This impressively researched, eloquently written, and artfully constructed book is very important reading for anyone interested in understanding the roots of inequality in the northeast and the nation."--Lily Geismer, author of Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party
"An illuminating and damning account of power and privilege in late twentieth-century America."--Colin Fisher, author of Urban Green: Nature, Recreation, and the Working Class in Industrial Chicago
"This is a life story brimming with humanity and a great antidote to life under global capitalism, in which privatization is all the rage. Andrew Kahrl's book is sure to have a sorely needed humanizing effect on all its readers."--Ted Steinberg, author of Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York
"In Free the Beaches, Andrew Kahrl not only tells the remarkable story of activist Ned Coll. He also shows that on the Connecticut shore, white liberalism and racial exclusion went hand in hand."--Jason Sokol, author of All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn
"What would it mean to broaden our view of the most important fights against segregation from a Montgomery bus to the Connecticut shore? Andrew Kahrl powerfully shows us and it's sobering: the extent Northern white families went to preserve their segregated spaces and the long fight by black and white activists like Ned Coll and Revitalization Corps to open them."--Jeanne Theoharis, author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History