Summary

Of course you trust Gates, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, to deliver an indelible (near-definitive?) history of African Americans ranging from the conquistadores to President Barack Obama. Fresh scholarship and more than 800 images, plus a 60,000-copy first printing; important for most collections.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama. Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship and including more than seven hundred images--ancient maps, fine art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters--"Life Upon These Shores" focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the signal achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop to the Joshua generation. By documenting and illuminating the sheer diversity of African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture, Gates bracingly disabuses us of the presumption of a single "black experience." "Life Upon These Shores" is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination.