Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights


Product Details

$34.95  $32.50
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.53 X 9.28 X 1.56 inches | 1.83 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning professor, columnist, and author of nine acclaimed books. Freedman was a staff reporter for The New York Times from 1981 through 1987. From 2004 through 2008, he wrote the paper's "On Education" column, winning first prize in the Education Writers Association's annual competition in 2005. From 2006 through 2016, Freedman wrote the "On Religion" column, receiving the Goldziher Prize for Journalists in 2017 for a series of columns about Muslim-Americans that had been published over the preceding six years. As a professor of journalism at Columbia University, Freedman has been named the nation's outstanding journalism educator by the Society of Professional Journalists and received Columbia's coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.


"Riveting. . . . A superbly written tale of moral and political courage for present-day readers who find themselves in similarly dark times." - Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The New York Times

"Compelling...Freedman offers an intimate and fine-grained depiction of Humphrey's early life and fledgling political career, as well as a revealing portrait of Minneapolis, a city of both gut-wrenching racism and creative civil rights initiatives." -- Aram Goudsouzian, The Washington Post

"A powerful and captivating read." --Richard Aldous, The Wall Street Journal

"A strong step in rehabilitating Humphrey's image as a practical politician and civil rights activist." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Freedman enlarges the reader's understanding of Humphrey while also offering vivid, rich, and unsettling details about politics, society, racism, and antisemitism in mid-twentieth-century America...An illuminating look at an important yet overlooked facet of American history." -- John Rowen, Booklist

"With insight and grace, Samuel G. Freedman has given us a compelling and important account of Hubert H. Humphrey's critical role in the freedom struggles of the mid-20th century. It takes nothing away from the sacrifices and bravery of Black Americans to note Humphrey's commitment to achieving justice for all-the great goal of America's still-unfinished journey." -- Jon Meacham, author of And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle

"At the 1948 Democratic Convention, Hubert Humphrey implored the Party and nation to make civil rights the cause of the 20th century. Samuel Freedman's insightful book provides a critical account of not only Humphrey's path to that moment but also of the Minneapolis leaders and activists who fought for justice in Minnesota and who shaped the man who would become one of our nation's greatest champions for equality. Freedman's book reminds us that while so much progress has been made, all of us must continue to walk 'towards that bright sunshine of human rights.'"
--Senator Amy Klobuchar

"Sam Freedman's work consistently elevates the craft of writing and Into the Bright Sunshine is no exception. His characteristically graceful prose and meticulous research illuminate not only Hubert Humphrey's life but the promise and peril of his political moment. The result is an adroit chronicle of a giant obscured by the passage of time and a key entry in the history of American liberalism and the roots of its current predicament."
--Jelani Cobb

"Into The Bright Sunshine accomplishes that rare triumph of being two books at once: Freedman has crafted both a definitive biography of Hubert Humphrey so vivid that we can almost hear H.H's heart thump on the page, as well as a rigorous investigation into the moral, spiritual and political forces that have shaped the best of liberalism in America."
--Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Amity and Prosperity

"In a lively, eloquent, deeply human way, Samuel Freedman brings his lifelong passion for social justice to a key turning point in our still-unfinished battle for true equality. Even people like me who disagreed with Hubert Humphrey over Vietnam will come away from this book with a deepened respect for the man who dragged his reluctant party to take a stand for civil rights."
--Adam Hochschild

"Samuel Freedman, one of the great chroniclers of modern America, provides us with a fascinating history of racial liberalism in Cold War America, unpacking the origin story of Hubert Humphrey's pathbreaking speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention. Capturing a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights politics, Freedman's book is a significant contribution to the literature on American politics."
--Julian Zelizer, Princeton University, author of The Fierce Urgency of Now